August 3, 2009

To be...To think...To create like a child

When I have no or slow inspirational days, I often think about how I would look at something if I was 8 years old. While surfing the Internet, I came upon this article. Number 5 lists some simple activities that we can do to spark creativity in children. Three of them caught my attention as I reflected on my childhood. (the picture above is my son trying to make a new "friend" in New York City.)

1. Pencil Talk. The idea is to "take a large sheet of shelf paper, some pencils, markers or crayons, and have a "conversation" with your child. The catch: You can't talk; you have to draw what you want to say. This might even turn into an ongoing visual dialogue or a pictorial story lasting several days. Ask everyone in the family to join in."

Take this example of a story I wrote when I was 8 years old. In this particular case, my mom asked me to write and/or draw about an event that had just happened. I wrote a story about a bird. I wrote the story in Spanish (you can see my mom's corrections) so it's not the same when you translate it. However, here is the gist. Basically, it is a story about a bird I found and brought it home because it was so cold outside. I kept it warm and gave it food. He flew around the house and we couldn't catch it. In the morning, we found that it had died so we went to bury it. I was sad, but I told myself not to cry. That night I dreamt it was alive.
That was a wonderful "conversation" I had with my mom through writing and visual imagery.

2. Big Box Blow-Out. The idea is to "get a large cardboard box from an appliance store and let your child decide what he'd like it to be. A spaceship? A house? A puppet theater? Let him paint or draw his own designs on it."

I wish I had pictures of this experience I had with my brother. It was truly a creative time. We actually cut and painted a large appliance box into a robot. Once we had played with it for a while as we had intended, we put the box over us and went out to the hall. We bumped from side to side bouncing off the wall until the "robot" was no longer a robot, but pieces. What great fun; we just let go. We'll have to re-create this creative time soon.
3. Record-O-Rama. The idea is to "provide your child with a tape recorder, camera or camcorder, and let her create her own "stories" from the sounds and sights she puts together. Give her the opportunity (if she wishes) to present her production to the family."
What my siblings and I did was create our own radio show. My brother would cover the news; my sister would play her flute; I covered sports and weather. We actually still have one of those recordings which I might share once I figure it how to make it available. It is pretty embarrassing, but quite funny. For now, know that listening to it not only makes us laugh but also lets us see how creative we can be.

The story I wrote about the bird inspired me to create this bird stamp with all its imperfections.

Lessons learned: be...think...create like a child from time to time; reflect on your childhood......we just might be inspired.

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thank you for taking the time to visit my creative space. you are welcome to share your comments and thoughts. best wishes---ludid