Does your child view every piece of paper, bits of index cards, napkins, and even unused tissues as a potential canvas? Does he arrange his crayons by color palette automatically? Has she ever insisted on going to the grocery store wearing a pipe cleaner bracelet and boa? If so, then you know what it’s like to live with a “creative” child. For many parents, culling the available art supplies or limiting creative expression are options in dealing with these children. There are better ways to deal with these creative sorts that can help maintain order while also honoring creativity.
Smocks and Sheets
The best way to protect against an errant paintbrush or mad gluing session is to use protective clothing and furniture before you begin. Though getting everything covered before starting any art or craft project takes time, the preparation time saves much more in hassle and frustration later. Explain to your child that she always must wear her smock before beginning any project. Get a smock that has long sleeves and is easy to get on and off. A drop cloth or sheet always should go over the floor or table where the crafting will take place.
Drawers and Baskets
Keeping arts and crafts organized can be difficult, especially since people who are highly creative often struggle with being neat and organized. They can become caught up in what they are doing and find it difficult to turn their attention to an organizational scheme. The best way to organize crafts and art supplies is to use a combination of baskets and drawers with smaller containers. Explain clearly to your child how you he should put everything away. With a simple system just requiring tossing items back into the proper containers, even the artistic child should be able to keep everything in order.
Shelves and Frames
Displaying the products that your creative little one conjures up can be a monumental task. Highly expressive children often make multiple art items each day, and you can find yourself quickly running out of room for them. The best way to handle the myriad sculptures, paintings, and beaded treasures you are likely to receive is to have a set spot for them. Explain to your child that you have a certain amount of space to fill with his artwork. When those spaces are taken, he must move something to put up another piece. Also give your child a place in her room where she can display her own works easily.
Life with artistic children need not be stressful. Instead you should strive to parent your creative child in a way that encourages her to grow both in terms of artistic ability and independence. Showing her that you value who she is by making creative endeavors part of your daily life, whether it’s visiting a local exhibit or having her design place cards for Thanksgiving dinner, will go a long way in making her confident in the value of her interests.
Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on culinary schools in houston.