Monday, October 10, 2011

Creative Activities at Home

We've been focusing on The Power of Fun this month at The Power of Moms, and I've been trying so hard to be a "fun mom."

Yesterday, Spencer was breathless as he said, "Mom!  I want you to walk out in the hall, go down the stairs, through the living room, into the kitchen, out the back door, and go jump on the TRAMPOLINE!!!"

Wanting to be a spontaneous, in-the-moment kind of mom, I said, "Sure!  Let's go jump."

Then I heard Spencer mutter under his breath, "But it might break."

We ended up jumping for about 20 minutes (no broken springs, fortunately), and I loved every minute with him, but I've noticed that most of the fun happening in my home is the spontaneous stuff my children do on their own (while I'm busy doing all the "mom stuff").

Life is 100 times cleaner and quieter when my children are "plugged in" to a screen or completely out of the house, but there's a certain level of creativity that's only reached when the electronics are turned off and our schedule is cleared of errands and appointments.

Walt Disney once said, "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children."  I love that.

And sometimes, the best thing I do for my children is give them space to create.
Alia is almost 12, and she makes the most creative snacks for the kids--like these little mice nibbling on some cheese:

When my children visited with their cousins recently, they all dressed up in Halloween costumes and just played the whole afternoon (it wasn't even close to Halloween):

My sister told us about this fun idea--using rain gutters as car tracks.  The boys spend hours lining up the tracks and racing the cars across the living room.

And whenever I get out the kitchen food (found at a garage sale for $5), they have such a great time playing restaurant.

This is Grace, taking my order:

I was reading a book on the couch while they were playing, but I had to stop and take a picture of this cute meal.  Honestly, I know I'm going to miss these kinds of scenes popping up all around me.

One day, I walked by a little end table in the living room and saw that Grace left me this:

They looked so cute, lined up with big smiles.  Then I went in the kitchen and saw Spiderman hanging out on someone's plate of pretzels:

Alia wanted to teach Spencer how to type using the "home" keys.  He couldn't see the letters when his fingers were in the right position, so she got out a marker and wrote "A-S-D-F and J-K-L-;" right on his knuckles.  It worked!

Family life is a beautiful thing.  It's messy and noisy, and there's plenty of whining and tattling going on, but the more I recognize the fun around me, relax our schedule, and give my children opportunities to create more fun, the more I enjoy this whole process of motherhood.

What inspires you to be creative?  Do your children participate in any creative projects you think my children would like?  (I'd love to hear!)

You can also see what my girls are up to by visiting Alia's Ideas and A Place for Gracie.  Have a wonderful day!


  1. Thanks for sharing April! You are such a great example to all of us!!

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Ruth!

  3. Oh Linda, YOU are the example. I think of you every day. Love you, sister!

  4. One of the most rewarding things for me as a mom is when I see my kiddos playing together and being creative together. They don't need me to always entertain them (though I'm sure they want me to - 'cause I'm pretty entertaining).

  5. Oh Amy, you are the most entertaining mom I know! I think of you often. Whenever my kids need a little pick-me-up, I think, "What would Amy do right now?" I'm getting to be a more fun mom because of your example! We even bought face crayons like at Aspen Grove and made decorations all over their faces the other day. Love you!

  6. Oh April, I loved this! I especially liked Alia's pose with the order book and pen at the ready! Looked like a Charlie's Angels pose!

  7. OH NO!! I meant Grace! Sorry!

  8. Thanks, Anna. They are such fun girls. (And no worries . . . you're so funny about the names.) Have a great day!


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