Everyone has a creative mind—the very young, the very old and every age in between. Being creative, expressing your uniquely creative self, should be a regular part of your life. Encouraging your children to be creative in work and play can also be a hugely rewarding part of your life—not only reinforcing the activities they’ve already showed interest in, but also feeding their natural curiosity with new ideas and actions.
Our new article from Stéphane and Amanda Ostrander shows the amazing creativity that can come from the simple cardboard box. (This is a favourite family activity in our home too!)
Joleen Steel pours some of her creative energy into sketching and painting custom-designed Christmas ornaments. This creative expression is also a money-making venture, which she shares with us in her recent article “Thinking Ahead to the Christmas Craft Season.”
Creative in Many Ways
Each person in my home has several unique, creative tendencies, but we also have fun with the creative activities we do together. Lego is a much-loved activity for our 8- and 11-year-old. They build a variety of things that I’m impressed with, time after time. Every now and then their mom and dad join in on construction and do the more conventional rendition of Lego creations. I must admit that Lego time is more often a Dad and boys’ activity, but every so often I get encouraged to test my builder skills, even though it’s not an area where I’m most creative.
For me, my creativity shines when I’m designing websites, images and videos. I love to create visual experiences online; and while I’ve been more artistic on paper in my younger years, my “canvas” for now is a screen. My husband Rob’s creativity comes out in building and repairing. As a drywaller, he’s been told by some impressed customers that he makes it look like an art form the way he expertly trowels the mud on the board to create the completely smooth surface of walls and ceilings. At home he’s got a 1977 Ford that he’s restoring and various renovations and landscaping projects in progress or in idea mode. His creative tendencies are quite different from mine,which actually works out nicely to bring variety to our boys’ creative exposure.
A Creative Family Project
Our latest family project was building bat boxes. We went full apartment complex instead of the more common small family suite for the bat home building. I had pretty good step-by-step instructions, but constructing these bat boxes would have been a major challenge for everyone involved if I were leading it! Since Rob’s brain is already wired to build, he made this project a great success and didn’t even need to follow the instructions after he got the pieces cut to size and the vision for what we were building (although I was ready at the sidelines with instructions in hand to help him out).
I think that the beauty of families is what comes out in creative expression, with everyone sharing God-given creative gifts for the benefit and enjoyment of others—creating connection. By acknowledging and expressing our differences we become stronger as a family, just like the body of Christ is made stronger by many different people working together.
That’s when we’re truly living God’s plan for our lives.
As we grow and mature mentally and emotionally, through different stages of childhood and adulthood, our creative tendencies change. Whatever you and your family members are leaning toward creatively at this stage in your lives may not be how you’ll be creative in another year, or five years from now.
Through natural curiosity and the creative influence of people young and old that you’re around, your creative journey will be filled with many forms of expressing your gifts and connecting with work and play that fits your individual style. Embrace the uniqueness of those around you and keep feeding the curious and creative mind with regular new experiences for you and your family.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV).
Steph has been building businesses, mostly from home, for over 10 years, motivated by her strong determination that her two youngest boys would be educated at home. She works for The Old Schoolhouse on the Canadian team, and also coaches entrepreneurs to start and grow their business from home. Her and her family are all comfortably nestled in the trees in Central Ontario. She loves being a home-body and building up her permaculture property. Learn more about Steph at www.creatingworkandplay.com