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Thursday, October 27, 2011

how do you co-create with kids?

I think there is a wicked irony about parenthood. When I started having kids, I found that my creativity and fearlessness were both ignited. Yet, at the very same time, I had so much less time and energy to myself. I have come to realize that a working solution for me, is to create with my kids as much as possible (as well as carving out time alone when I can).

So, we spend most of our days exploring, wondering, thinking and making. It is not always seamless, but many times we are able to inspire and encourage each other. I am often surprised at how positively kids respond to adults who are creating their own projects - they will give them space and watch with curiosity to see what is unfolding. When I am frustrated or blocked, it is usually not my kids who are hampering me, but ME who is telling myself that I do not have time, or I need a special set of circumstances in order to create. If I get out of my way and just start making (or doing or writing), my environment will settle in around me and support my work.

How do you balance creative work with kids?

How do you co-create?


  1. I've been sewing a lot lately, which is great and a challenge. It didn't really work to have them create the same medium -- "mom, can you thread my needle? can I use the machine? what do I do now?" So, I put a mat down in the sewing area and they usually pick playdoh and lots of tools or watercolor and lots of paper. It help for them to have a long project in mind so I can make headway on my project. Every once and a while throughout my project task I call one to my lap and have them help. I like having them near so we can chat and create.

  2. Yeah, this is a tough one. Though my creativity didn't ignite till I started homeschooling---what tha??? One day I hope to have an open desk space set up--not too far from anything else, where I can just have all my projects open and just waiting for me. So when that half hour shows up and the laundry can wait and the kids are doing their own thing--I just go!
    But for now, if we leave the house (which is alot) I carry everything with me in 2 large bags--my knitting, my reading, all my different journals, my art pens, now my polaroid and of course my camera. And then the bags sit in my passenger seat in the car if for some miracle 15 min. or more shows up. Then I just grab whatever I have time or in the mood for. Is it satisfying--sometimes, but definitely not ideal. Then I remember that they won't be with me for long, the kids I mean. Then I'll probably freak out awhile for all the extra time i will have. Eh, maybe I won't :).

  3. i love hearing how other parents work on this. mj - i am with you on the bags. i am always toting things around with the idea that i will somehow work on it.

  4. We have recently set up our kitchen to have an 8' craft table adjacent to my sewing table, where I work on my Etsy shop. It's nice for the kids to be able to sew, draw, use the laptop, etc. while being close by. Someone once told my husband about how his parents provided him with a big tote of craft supplies and he loved it. My husband said, "We have a craft house. There are supplies in EVERY room." It's true, with such a big family and such a variation of interests, we have a LOT of craft supplies :)


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