“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”. Pablo Picasso.
Good point Picasso.
I came across the term ‘craptivities’ recently. Have you heard of this? It really resonated. Craptivities is a term that has been coined to describe activities which allow very little, if any, creative freedom. But they look nice. So we continue to do them with our kids. These include things like handprints on Mother’s Day cards, generic snowmen at Christmas etc etc.
You will find one craptivity in this Edition (soz). Any ideas?! I’ll fill you in. It is number 1 on our list of 10 …. Family handprints. There is zero creative freedom in this activity (I guess apart from choosing the paint colour you want). Perhaps we should have left it out. But it really is a lovely memory maker and a reminder of your family in a moment in time. So we included it.
BUT everything else really is about flexing your creative muscles and not trying to make things look a certain way.
As grown ups we can develop real hang ups over our ability to do ‘art’ (as Picasso points out above). Children regularly ask their parents to draw them a ‘dinosaur’ or ‘bin lorry’ or whatever else they are in to. Cue slight embarrassment and worry that it might not be all that good. Why do we care? Our kids certainly don’t. So, this month is all about shedding your inhibitions and enjoying the process. Jenny Leonard our fabulous expert in the vids has come up with some brilliant activities which require zero skill. They just require you to pick up a pen and go for it. Nothing must ‘look a certain way’ and you will get the most enjoyment out of being as silly and wacky as possible. And they probably won’t look all that good. But that is great. It proves they are not craptivities 😊
As your children grow, they in turn can become self-conscious of their creations. This often leads to anxiety at things not being ‘good enough’. Therefore it is hugely important for everyone’s self confidence to start showing them that it is not always about the end result, but it is having the confidence to put on paper whatever you fancy or feel like. Generic snowmen may look cute but they are getting no opportunity to be imaginative or expressive.
Another really important point I want to make is this. We absorb, absorb, absorb in today’s society. TV, gaming, phones, tablets etc etc. We take on SO much information every hour. We do not ‘put out’ the same level of energy at all. We need outlets to create rather than just absorb. It helps our brains calm, our stress levels reduce, enables us to relax and release. We have something to show at the end of it. Mindfulness colouring books have been hugely popular with adults in recent years for this very reason.
So scrap the craptivities, let everyone’s imagination come to the fore and enjoy getting creative with your family. It will do you all a whole load of good.
I’m going to give Andy Warhol the last word…. “Don’t think about making art. Just get it done.”