Nurturing Creativity

I see it in everything DS does, his imagination and creativity. In his chalk drawings on the driveway, in his building legos.

I see imagination in other children also. As the dog and I were walking the other afternoon a little boy was outside playing with another child. They were on their bicycles and on an adventure with him exclaiming "come on we’ve got to get to the meeting…." and more that I don’t recall.

As a parent, I don’t want to see DS’s imagination or creativity to diminish. I think as we grow from childhood to adulthood we can tend to loose that imagination. We worry if what we are doing is "right" or if others will like it. This has been a huge struggle for me and I’m only just now seeing it and learning to let go of that fear. Yesterday we bought a Horton Hears a Who watercolor coloring book for a birthday gift. DS ask if the giftee has seen the movie and I say it doesn’t matter. He then says "well, she won’t know what color to paint the pictures if she hasn’t seen it." So of course I reminded him it didn’t matter, that she could use her imagination to color it anyway she would like.

It seems that the school systems are so pressured that they tend to leave out or cut way back on the creativity and imagination aspects of learning. I agree they need to focus on reading, language and math. But with 17-18 children in a class that leaves very little time for science, social studies and art.  DS does very well with math and science and I’m very glad. I just don’t want him to loose that creativity and imagination. I firmly believe that people can still excell at artistic endeavors even though they are very good in the fields of math and science.

I’m trying to find activities to enrich his education without making it seem like he has a longer day of school. We do little science experiments with household items and he starts piano lessons Tuesday. We bought his book yesterday and I was amazed at all he picked up by just reading through it by himself. He was kind of hesitant about taking lessons, but since I told him I had set it up he has been at the piano making up little tunes. This excites me. 🙂

So I wonder how to nurture that artistic aspect even more without it seeming like more school. DS used to take art lessons, but his teacher moved. I’m planning on calling around to see if there is anyone else that teaches children’s art classes here in our small town.

What as a parent can I do to keep fostering that imagination and creativity without overwhelming him or keeping him on the go all the time? Please share your ideas with me in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.