Thursday, June 12, 2008
The kids are out of school and they have the long lazy days of July and August ahead. They could spend their summer days in front of the TV or your children could be using their imaginations to create projects that are a reflection of their own unique talents.
Creative and artistic are not the same thing. Creativity is an approach to life. Creative thinkers know that problems have many different solutions. When they encounter an obstacle, they find a way around rather than giving up. They have to be willing to take risks as they learn new skills. These are important life skills that need to be encouraged in children.
Summer activities, children's crafts and science projects give children the opportunity to learn and practice these skills. Even if they follow a project guide exactly, they will still to make decisions about shades of colors and where to place items. Once they are familiar with the project, most children will want to make it again. That is when they get really creative. First the colors change, then the shapes, and suddenly it is a new project from their own imagination.
Creative projects encourage children to find the resources to make what they want, rather than opening up a box that has all the supplies in one place.
Or Get OUTSIDE
Watermelon and Sprinkler
Watermelons are so sticky and messy in the house. Instead, just cut a whole watermelon into enough pieces for your kids and their friends, then send them outside and turn on the sprinkler. You don't even have to watch it, just let them loose to get as sticky and wet as they want.
You know how much you loved it when you were a kid. Use sheets, blankets, or comforters over tables and chairs. Put a lamp, pillow, books, games, and snacks in the "tent". A giant appliance box is the perfect fort, of course, but it's a bit harder to find appliance boxes these days. Visit a nearby furniture store with your kids in tow. Bet they'll find one for you quickly. If you have access to some lumber scraps, older and younger kids will work together to build a tree house.