Parents often are reluctant to do any creative activities with their children, because they equate creativity with messiness; paint on the carpet and walls, crayons on clothes, Playdoh in hair.
Fortunately, not all creative activities have to be messy. There are a number of iPad apps these days that allow your child to be creative, without any additional equipment or mess. The problem with most of these apps is that they are a solo activity.
Taking part in creative activities with your child is a great way to develop your connection or to reconnect, if you’ve been feeling a little disconnected lately.
Here are some ideas for creative activities that both you and your child will have fun doing (and that you won’t have to spend hours cleaning up!):
Cook a meal or bake something together
Next time you’re cooking dinner, encourage your child to involved, rather than shooing them from the kitchen. Teach them about some different flavour combinations and get them to taste test some different herbs. Ask them what herbs or spices they would like to include in the dish and ask why they think they would taste good together.
Alternatively, you could bake a batch of plain cupcakes and experiment by making each different cupcake a different flavour combination. Berries and mint in one, banana and chocolate in another, lemon and cream cheese in another. Taste-test the different cupcakes and together decide which flavours are the best (and worst!) and discuss why the different flavours work well together, or why they don’t.
Grab an old camera and go exploring together
Exploring the world with an open mind and actively trying to view things from different perspectives is great for cultivating a sense of wonder. Challenge your child to find beauty in the mundane by playing with camera angles, zoom, focus and lighting.
You could print the finished photos and grab some plain wooden frames from your local craft store to frame the best photos. Together, decorate the frames in a way that enhances the beauty of the photographs using whatever craft materials you have around the house.
When looking back at the printed photographs, make sure to ask your child about how they felt during the process of exploring and taking the photos.
Write a letter to the author of their favourite book with ideas for a sequel
This is a great way of encouraging your child to develop new ideas and think laterally – particularly if the book is imaginative and contains “made-up” objects.
Help them write the letter, asking open-ended questions as you go. For example: “Why do you think the author ended the book in the way they did?” or “What do you think happens to the main character next? Why?”
Maybe your child will want to come up with their own new characters to add to the book. Ask them to describe these new characters in detail.
We’ve put together an art activity for your child and a question guide for you, to get you started with asking the right questions about your child’s art. It’s the perfect rainy day activity and can help you reconnect with your child.
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