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I *Heart* Fridays: I *Heart* creating with kids

31 October 2008

I get so much pleasure out of doing creative things with Roxy. Before I was a mum I used to sometimes babysit friends' children during the school holidays, and I'd always have crafting days planned. Now I love spending time at Roxy's pre-school doing craft activities with the children. Kids love creating things and it's a wonderful way to interact, connect and bond with them. Mastering a new skill or showing off something they've made gives them immense satisfaction, pride and confidence. As an adult the satisfaction comes from giving them the encouragement and the means to achieve that. You don't have to teach children, they are all creative. And it doesn't really matter what is made, the joy is in engaging the imagination and the visual expression of it. The joy is in the act of creating.

I recently bought a book called The Creative Family. How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections. You can see it here. When I bought it a friend commented that I am the last person they would have thought would need a book like this. The reason I bought it was for more inspiration - I always feel like there is more I can do to nurture Roxy's innate creativity. The book is a really lovely resource which has a lot of depth to it, rather than just being a 'how to' project book. It focuses on creating traditions and connections within your family, and even if you don't consider yourself creative the author, Amanda Blake Soule, demonstrates how you can reach your creative potential. Amanda has a beautiful blog - click here to check it out.

Roxy has been very keen for me to teach her how to sew because she has always watched me doing it. So this week she cut out some felt hearts for her first sewing project. She chose the felt and embroidery thread colours and decided what she wanted to make. Hearts are big in her world at the moment and she's very adept at cutting them out because she's been practicing for a long time with paper hearts while watching me make Heart Boxes!

I tied a knot in the end of the thread and made the first stitch for her and she was off. Roxy patiently and carefully stitched around her hearts and was thrilled beyond belief at her ability to sew. And now she's hooked... as I type she's pulling at my arm saying "come on mum, let's sew!". You don't need to give your kids plastic toys with all the bells and whistles. The simple things they make themselves or you make with them are far more satisfying on every level.
This simple mask was made out of a huge ivy leaf, some string and sticky tape and it gave Roxy, a.k.a. Leaf Girl hours of pleasure. Unfortunately Leaf Girl uncharacteristically didn't want her photo taken that day.

Happy creating... Happy Friday.