When the news is all gloom and doom it is easy to give up and think ‘whats the point’ but I feel that now is the time to be extra creative, what ever that means to you.
I was very lucky to be brought up in a very creative household. My father is a painter and one of my earliest memories is watching him mix paints in his attic. I particularly remember the way the light shone through the skylight, I remember being distracted by the dust floating in the air and I remember sitting there for a long long time whilst he painted, often in silence. He would lie his canvasses on the floor and would make energetic sweeps across the paintings. His gift for colour is incredible and maybe those years of sitting with him taught me how to use colour. I am only conscious of that now as a forty five year old. But it was a huge gift watching him being creative and putting all his passion into his paintings. He has been painting these huge incredible paintings his whole life. I was given the gift of being able to honour creativity and hold it in a high place by him. There have been times when I have struggled to value myself as a creative but as I think about it now it was a huge gift that he gave me, as I sat there for those years watching him work with such focus commitment and love for his work and in turn I am learning to love my work and my books. So much so that I have just unashamedly plugged them.
My mother was always creative but I think that she hid it more than my Dad did. I remember her being creative in the kitchen and as she has become older she has taken up painting and making things, she is a brilliant maker and has turned into a wonderful painter, these talents were always there but only seem to have come out of her in the last fifteen years.
Children are innately creative. If you let them be all they do a lot of the time is create. Creativity is everywhere. Not only in art, drama and music but it is in maths science engineering, to be alive is to be creative and in this process of unschooling I think creativity is the key. To embrace it and to run what whatever comes up. I cannot always keep up with the creative demands in our household. If I was just to spend the day absolutely following the creative ideas of the kids it would have lead my to buying an animation suite, a sewing machine, new paints, three brand new up to speed lap tops, fulfilling the dream of having a music room, buying a potters wheel, obtaining a full electronics kit and keeping it updated regularly. Getting a stand up piano, exploding many watermelons with string, jumping in a coke filled swimming pool whilst being strapped in to a Mentos suit, the list is endless… All of these things have been requested over time and we can only live within our means but this is an example of constant creativity, it is all linked with playing and being curious and it is a bountiful, beautiful and endless stream of life and curiosity flowing through our kids. I think to be human is to be creative and that essentially all people are creative beings, I don’t know what happens as to why it gets drummed out of us. But I think if you look at your life and what you actually do there is a lot more creativity going on than people may realize. Staying open and creative is a beautiful thing and I see it in children all the time, they constantly create things, from seemingly nothing. It is this gift that I hope that the kids will carry with them into their adult years. So I have compiled a list below for those who want to jump in a doing something creative.
Fun things to Try
I hope that these exercises have sparked some creativity for you or for your child.
I think that like Ken Robinson says ‘All children start their school careers with sparkling imaginations, fertile minds, and a willingness to take risks with what they think.’ So I think our jobs, as parents, teachers, humans is to keep uplifted as best we can and nurture those creative talents .
Right am off to find my Mentos suit…
(This is an exert from Unschooling the Kids, our upcoming book)
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