Yesterday was World Read Aloud Day. It is a day that gives global attention to the importance of sharing stories and reading together. Some of the best conversations, ideas, and work come out of reading and discussing great books with others, especially with our children. It does not require much except an ability to read and the time to read (if we make it) to, in the words of Jim Trelease, “light a fire.” That spark. That inspiration that motivates action in our children to discover the world, consider the wonder and beauty of creation, and what role they play in God’s grand story is a marvelous thing to behold.
There are many ways to inspire our children to be as they are, which is creative, for we are all creative beings made in the image of our Creator. Sometimes, though, we parents get in the way of our children by placing obstacles and distractions that disrupt the flow of creativity. Things like screens, extra-curricular, managed activities, overly scheduled calendars, etc. can impede learning and opportunities for creativity. So, how do we in an overly distracting, noisy, Age of Information and busyness craft space and time for our children to be as they are- creative? There are several ways I am sure, but I will list three simple ways we as parents can inspire creativity in our homes.
3 Ways to Inspire Creativity in the Home
- Read Aloud. As mentioned, reading together incites the mind to marvel at story, language, and character. Rich interactions between parent and child and with a book itself not only strengthens literacy, but builds the parent-child relationship as well.
- Get Outside. Exploring nature and the wonders of God’s creation draws our children’s attention to the life, science, and beauty of the outdoors. Grab a sketchbook, some colored pencils, pens, or some water colors and watch nature’s performance. John James Audobon did this and because of his observations and sketches we have a wealth of information on birds today.
- Play Music. Exposing our children to a variety of musical styles- of the best of the genres- builds their appreciation and understanding of music’s form and structure. Playing some classical or jazz while eating dinner, hymns during the morning routine, or some bluegrass while completing chores are some ways we can incorporate music into the normal flow of life at home.
These are just three simple ways we can all encourage creativity in our children. It is not so much that we need to include “another thing” into our daily schedules, but that we may need to eliminate or re-locate something else so that we are giving our children ample space and time to be still, pay attention, and absorb what is of worth. We may not see the product or benefit of reading aloud, nature, or music in the immediate, but over time we will see our children build upon the feast that we faithfully spread before them as they engage with true, good, and beautiful things.