Enrichment through Creativity

Creativity feeds the soul! I am not sure where this phrase or expression came from but I absolutely believe in it. Last weekend, I spent Saturday at an art gallery in Northeast Iowa that carries my handcrafted jewelry for the tourist season. There, I showed children how to make beaded bookmarks, key rings, and bracelets. Again, it was a volunteer commitment, but one I thoroughly enjoyed – even when there were times I was alone at my table, working on my craft.

When I became a stay at home mom, after moving to Wisconsin, I found that I needed some outlets. Anyone home with young children for extended periods of the day can relate to this need. I felt I was missing something that would allow me to be a better mom when I was home with my boys. Educated formally as a nurse, and being born with perfectionist and serious personality. It was then I realized that I had suppressed a side of myself that was very important to my well-being. Creativity.

First, I started to volunteer at our local Children’s Museum. There, I organized and ran a Craft class for preschoolers called Craft Time with Carol. I was able to rumage through their storage closet to find reusable scraps of paper, yarn, beads, stickers, wooden sticks, markers, crayons, plastic bottles, and more – virutally anything that was donated to create a craft each week. This ended lasting for several years.

However, since that time, in the early part of the twenty-first century, I have been careful to preserve a creative outlet in my life.  As I mentioned, I made jewelry. It is primarily beaded jewelry. It is a hobby that allows me to express myself through color and pattern. It feeds my soul. When I have been too busy to allow myself time to create, I notice a tension and need to return to my craft. It has been such a time, lately.

This year, I am especially looking forward to the end of my school year obligations. A chance to create some jewelry, take some landscape photographs, write my blog, and feed my soul is now here.  If you are looking for activities to enrich your child over the summer, do not look past giving them a chance to be creative. Find out what they like to do. Is it coloring, creating inventions of simple machines like catapults, or making a potato clock? Is it beading? Anyone can find joy in crafting a colorful patriotic necklace or bracelet for a national holiday or making a charm to put on next year’s back pack. Go on a hunt for cast off craft supplies at local garage sales! Make a morning of it! Do you have a budding photographer? With even an inexpensive digital camera, allow your child to experiment with taking photos of their choice – their pet, their yard, their treehouse. Nurture the creative side of their personality, for when that is fed, the possibilities are endless!

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