Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Want your kids to be more creative? Let them be bored...

The plan to get your kids to be more creative this summer is really simple. Let them be bored. Yes, I said bored – really bored and I promise it will be ok. It is truly the best way to be creative; discover who you are; and most importantly, decide what you want to do with your life. So many kids are over-scheduled, stressed-out and just plain tired. How can they be creative when everything is planned out for them every minute of the day? 

When I was a kid, my mom sent me outside everyday after homework and I didn't come home until just before dark. My neighborhood friends were out there too, so together we explored, laughed, created and learned in our backyards. 

We created all kinds of adventures. I remember once designing an entire circus after finding 5' wooden wire cable wheels left in the trash. It was so much fun! We even did a show for our school because all the kids were talking about it. I have to admit we did get bored in our backyard sometimes, but not for long because that's the point: nobody stays bored because we can't stand it, then we creatively come up with something to do or make.

I was reminded of this subject last night because by teenage son was giving me a hard time because I do not let my kids watch tv on school nights. I didn't give in. It would have been easier, but he did come up with something. When I was watering my garden this morning, I found wires coming out of his bedroom window attached to a contraption made out of recycled soda bottles taped to a jar with water in it. I am not sure what it is. I hope it is some sort of antenna. 

I'm not looking for any of my children to be artists, I just want them to be able to creatively find a solution to any problem that crosses their path and to know their ideas count.

Let me know what you invent on your next adventure...

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