Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
I’m an artist and that is a big part of who I am, which is probably obvious from my two online incarnations as The ArtsyMama and The Artful Mama. Well this doesn’t mean a whole lot to a toddler that has his own idea of what is creative and how he’d most like to express himself. So as a parent I’ve had to remind myself that my son is his own person and he may be no more interested in drawing then whether or not this purple crayon tastes better then that green one. So what is a creative mother to do with a creatively different child? Embrace his creative outlet!
Little Man loves music and dancing and I like to think there are things I did that helped influence this. The first week we started nursing and Little Man would scream and scream and not latch, I hummed to keep myself calm and to try to calm him. When Little Man was small I would walk around our neighborhood and blast my Pandora Radio App as he slept happily in the stroller. When I would get frustrated or overwhelmed by myself all day, I would sing whatever I was doing. I grew up watching musicals with my grandmother and everything can be sung and danced. What better time to live like you are in a musical, then with a baby?
From the time he could crawl, he swayed back and forth to music. As he learned to stand, he bounced his knees with the music. As he learned to walk, he added pirouettes (walking slowly in a circle) and stomping with the music. If there is music, you can bet he’ll be listening and moving. I embrace his exploits with musical instruments, I even bought him a music set that had a drum, tambourine, maraca and shakers in it for his first birthday. Our family couldn’t understand why I would do that to myself, since I turn off all the “music” on his baby toys. My feeling is the music he makes is better then any annoying pre-recorded electronic noise that a plastic alligator repeats over and over.
If we have the television on, he only stops what he is doing to pay attention when there is music. Since the return of “So You Think You Can Dance” we have been watching together and he is glued to the television. If he likes the music, he joins in and bops his head back and forth or dances with them. On the numbers I love, I pick him up and spin around the room to the quickstep or latin music which he gleefully squeals and asks for more. These are happy moments that I share with my son in the creative outlet of his choice.
Part of being a natural parent for me is to allow my son to explore the world and to develop into his own person. Together we share a love of the arts, but we each like to express ourselves in different ways. I enjoy dancing and singing with him and he does humor me by quietly sitting and scribbling over the drawings I make for him. I have made the promise to myself and him that I will not push my wants on him and work to keep that promise every day. What are the creative things you like to do with your children?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Family Draw Time Art Show — Kate Wicker shares art (and inspiration!) from her family’s cherished tradition of family draw time.
- The Rules of Creativity: Learning to Create with the “Non-Creative” — Zoe at Give an Earthly shares how she learned to accept her “non-creative” child and claims that anyone, child or adult, can be creative given the right handling and environment.
- Creating With Kids: 4 Ways That Work For Us — See how Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings nurtures creativity with her kids through craft projects, outdoor creative play, celebrating the creative process, and setting up “little spaces of beauty.”
- Creating memories, not things — Mrs. Green from Little Green Blog reflects on life with a ten year old and how ‘creating together’ has evolved from ‘things’ to memories.
- The Gift of Creation — It may be hot, but Kellie at Our Mindful Life is already thinking about winter.
- Hidden Talents — Sylvia at MaMammalia describes how providing the opportunity for creativity sometimes means learning to look for hidden talents in unusual places.
- Creating Joy — CatholicMommy at Working to be Worthy shares how she and her one year-old son create joy for their community.
- How to do Crafts with Kids — Gaby from Tmuffin guest posts at Natural Parents Network and describes how to keep things simple when doing crafts with kids for magical (easy-to-clean, and tantrum-free) results.
- Sugar & Spice & Baking on the Kitchen Floor — Carrie at Love Notes Mama enjoys making a mess in the kitchen with her daughter.
- Young Scientist Makes Purple Potion — Hannah at Wild Parenting loves being a lab assistant for the young scientist in her life.
- Making a butterfly house — Lauren at Hobo Mama demonstrates the proper way to build a wooden butterfly house with a preschooler.
- Nurturing Creativity — Amyables at Toddler In Tow shares the enjoyment she feels in nurturing the creativity of her children.
- Home School Music – Sparking A New Generation Of Musicians — Based on her musical background, Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey talks about how she creates with and teaches music to her children.
- Creating (im)perfectly Together — Mudpiemama shares some of the highlights of a summer spent building everything from ships to hoops but most of a lesson on letting go of perfection.
- Family Soccer Kick Around — When her children wanted to play soccer, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children helped organize something that would work for her family.
- Creating Memories Together on Skype — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells how you can create memories online with adult children or anyone who lives in another city or country.
- We’ll always have Halloween: Creating costumes for kids — Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama is not the craftiest mom on the block, but she does make a mean homemade Halloween costume.
- Let’s Make Juice! — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment shares about the benefits of juicing with kids, as well as a quick recipe.
- Everything’s Better When It’s Homemade — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro praises the art of homemade goods.
- Creating the Opportunity for Art — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction shares how her family has created an environment conducive to art.
- 10 Easy and Functional Crafts Preschoolers Can Do with Minimal Assistance — Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers ten easy crafts preschoolers can do while sitting near parents — but they don’t need a lot of parental help. Added bonus: all of these ten ideas double as something functional (gifts, decor, educational).
- Creating with Kids: Singing Together — Ana at Pandamoly details the important role music takes in her household and provides a quick (and easy!) tutorial for creating fun songs to sing together!
- Create This — jessica at instead of institutions considers different aspects of creativity including those without an end product.
- Make Your Own Pocket Bib — A tutorial from Amy at Anktangle on how to make two simple and quick bibs to keep your little one clean at the table.
- Creating Together in the Kitchen — Despite not feeling “crafty,” Momma Jorje finds a way to create and connect with her toddler.
- An Artist-Mama’s Perspective — In this post, Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the differences between her choice of artistic outlet and her son’s, and how they embrace those differences together.
- Heart of the Home — Jona at Life, Intertwined shares some highlights of cooking with kids.
- Getting creative with kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how much she enjoys watching her daughter getting creative.
- Creating with Children – The Nature/Seasonal Table — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama celebrates the rhythm of the natural world with her toddler through the creation of a seasonal nature table.
- How Involving My Kid Saves My Sanity — The Happy Hippie Homemaker explains how involving her toddler in projects allows her to get more done, while providing valuable opportunities to teach and to bond (added bonus: amazing oatmeal raisin cookie recipe!).
- In the Kitchen with Kids — Cooking with Real and Pretend Food — Terri from Child of the Nature Isle engages her kids in the kitchen with culinary creations of both real and pretend food.