Eli Draws are a family and a team supporting their young son Eli’s passion for being creative and transforming it into a brand where other parents and kids can participate in the exploration, learning and collaboration.
Eli Draws has partnered with CRE8TIME to help spread the word about the importance of creativity and engaging the younger generation to take time out to do the things they love.
In this blog post, Eli’s mother, Amanda, discusses the impact of creativity in our early lives – when creating was a priority, and gives ideas on how to engage and encourage children to #CRE8TIME for creativity.
Encouraging Kids to CRE8TIME
By Amanda Whitford Grundy
Eli Draws Education
This summer, we had the pleasure of having our 11 year old nephew and 6 year old niece from North Carolina stay with our family in New York City. We had lots of fun all over the city: exploring Governor’s Island, taking trips to the Bronx Zoo, going to the beach and having numerous playground adventures.
Although we had some great trips, one of my favorite moments was when we were at home one morning. The four kids (my nephew and niece along with my 6 year old and my 15 month old) were getting a little stir crazy in our New York apartment. I knew we had a birthday party to go to that night for a friend of mine, another mom who the kids all knew and loved from our summer zoo trips. I suggested the kids make her birthday cards and they jumped at the idea.
I got out stencils, crayons, markers, construction paper and the kids went to work. They were so thrilled to be making birthday cards for a friend and they put their heart, soul, and imaginations into their homemade card creations. Watching the kids made me remember my own childhood and how important making a birthday card for a friend can be. I posted on Facebook that I wished I could return to that time when creating something homemade for someone was my first priority.
When we think about encouraging our younger generation to be creative, we have to acknowledge that kids already possess the impulse to create, they just need adults to help with a few things.
1. An idea: Help kids to focus their imagination with an activity.
Make a birthday card
Put on a play
Make sock puppets
2. Time and space to be creative
Just like adults, kids have to carve out time for creativity from all the activities that vie for their attention, even if that activity might be annoying their little sister. Kids also need to know where it’s ok to work on their creative projects and where their projects can be kept safely and valued by others.
3. Tools to help their imagination come to life
Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens
Simple costumes and props
4. Permission to make a mess and make a mistake:
Create a space where it’s ok for kids to get messy. We live in a New York City apartment, aka, a small space. We use inexpensive, plastic table cloths leftover from birthday parties to cover the dining table so the kids can use markers and glue worry free. And when kids make a mistake, an invaluable part of the creative process is teaching them how to turn that mistake into part of their project or that it’s ok to start over and try again.
Creating time to do things we love, and encourage our creativity. is not always the easiest thing to do even though it brings us joy. The same is true for the younger generation. It is much easier for them to sit in front of an electronic device and play a video game or watch a movie. There is a time and a place for that, but teaching kids how to CRE8TIME for projects like making a friend a birthday card not only brings joy to the creator, but also brings joy to others.