I got to thinking the other day about what led me to become a writer turned blogger turned interior stylist.
I mean, surely people don’t just wake up one day with creativity and decide to turn it into a career. It wasn’t that way for me, anyhow.
Then I started thinking about my childhood and it suddenly dawned on me that so many elements of it were creative, and that my mother played a crucial part in fostering that creativity.
So today I’m sharing some tips on encouraging creativity in kids – based on my childhood experiences – but I also want to know:
Were you encouraged to be creative as a kid?
Growing up, my family wasn’t well off financially
There were some years there that were actually pretty dire. We didn’t take holidays, we didn’t have lavish cars, and up until I was 17 my parents rented the homes we lived in – and we lived in a lot.
Moving around so much was actually amazing for me. I reckon by the time I was 17 I had lived in over 10 different homes. I’m pretty sure that having so many bedrooms to decorate kick-started my interest in how spaces work and what you could do with them. I can walk into a space now and tell you exactly what will and won’t fit.
Not having a lot of cash growing up forced me to become creative. When Christmas rolled around, we didn’t go out and buy new anything in terms of decorations. That was a luxury we couldn’t afford. And this is where encouraging creativity in kids comes into play!
Vintage Chris Carroll right here. Get a load of it!
Encouraging creativity in kids: Christmas edition
Each December, Mum would by crepe paper from the newsagent in different colours and we would sit in the living room weeks before the 25th hit, making ring streamers to hang across the room along with a host of other Christmas activities.
Looking back, God we were doing it tough sometimes, but my parents never made me feel like we were. I had a ball creating those streamers and nothing pleased me more than stepping back and looking at the room once they were all up.
School holidays were creative, too
We made many, many cubby houses beneath our trampoline, with old sheets or tarp. We would set up little room around it using old wooden stumps and rope, draping fabric over them to create various nooks. You could spend all day out there, actually, reading and eating snacks.
Again, I never felt we were ‘doing it tough’; those cubby houses cost nothing and I had a ball making them.
Stationery goals started early
As a kid I also made a lot of cards. I wonder if little ones are still encouraged to do that anymore. I also made my own wrapping paper at times, stamping it with stamps or creating a polka dot effect with textas across it.
Again, this all came from – I’m guessing – not having enough money. But that’s the funny thing about creativity; the more you use it, the more you have. So even when we did end up being better of in terms of finances, I still looked to creative ideas that didn’t cost a fortune.
I wrote a lot growing up
And I was a very confident child up until about 12 or 13. I attended dance and drama classes and loved nothing more than putting on a show for my family at home.
Between the ages of 13 and 17, when I went through the process of realising I was gay (and all of the horrible situations like bullying that go along with it), I became quite introverted; doing everything I could to blend in and not be noticed by anyone. It wasn’t until I came to find ‘myself’ again at about 18 that my confidence came back.
What was your childhood like creatively?
Do you think your childhood led you to your current work or interests? And do you agree with encouraging creativity in kids?
I’d also love to know if you do Christmas activities leading up to Christmas with your kids. Drop a comment below and let’s chat.
Images 1 and 2 in this post come courtesy of Schoolhouse Electric.
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