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Creativity and Kids!

Reading, crafts, drawing, music, painting, CRAYONS!, Lego, duct tape, Play Doh were a few of the things mentioned on Thursday night…not forgetting tantrums, skiing, wine, beer, college and how the “hot mommas” (yes, someone said that!) are sneaking into #DadChat! Oh! and Dabney’s beautiful engagement ring!

This week was no different to the other weeks on #DadChat in that the hour FLEW by. The topic was about ‘Sparking Creativity in Your Child’ but as usual the conversation went in various directions and was a lot of fun! There were over 100 contributors, mostly dads but a lot of moms and well over 1000 tweets. Bruce has a great following, and every week there are new Tweeps joining in which is great to see. So if you haven’t jointed in yet, don’t be shy, everyone is friendly; maybe too friendly as Tweeps were still exchanging greetings 300 tweets in and Bruce had to keep us on track; truly showing that everyone is getting to know one another and feeling at home.

Discussing Creativity

Even though the topic was discussing encouraging creativity in our children it was also pointed out that we need to give them freedom to think and create and not worry about mess etc. Then it got onto how to get our kids to clean up! A good example of creative freedom was shared by Paul telling us that they came home and found that his son has painted their brand new Wii (a nice graffiti job) then 3 weeks later they came home to find that he had taken it apart and put it back together again!

Bruce Sallan and #DadChat

Bruce Sallan who hosts #DadChat was joined by co-hosts Peg Fitzpatrick and Paul Biedermann, who together, provided ’12 Most Loving Ways to Spark Creativity in your Child’ to accompany the chat. Earlier that day Paul and Peg were also special guests on Bruce’s radio show: Life Lessons from Charlotte and Creativity.

Please also check out Inspiring Kids to Inspire Themselves by Paul Biedermann and Bruce’s latest column Life Lessons from Charlotte.

The Highlights

To accompany this post I have highlighted some of the main tweets which you can read below. Apologies if I have missed anyone out but I have tried to keep it short (ish)! You can follow any of the contributors on Twitter by just putting the @ in front of their Twitter handle which I have kept intact. I hope you find this inspiring!

My highlights from the discussion…

BruceSallan: @PegFitzpatrick and @PaulBiedermann were on my radio show today. Will post link later!

BruceSallan: Please welcome and follow @PegFitzpatrick and @PaulBiederman, our very special #DadChat co-hosts!

PaulBiedermann: So honored to be co-hosting @BruceSallan ’s #DadChat tonight with my business partner, @PegFitzpatrick ! Let’s talk creativity!

BruceSallan: Let’s jump right in! @PegFitzpatrick @PaulBiedermann: What do YOU do to spark creativity in your kids?

PaulBiedermann: Draw, draw, draw!

padgets: I let my kids when they were younger go make mud pies and build forts.

bryancarguy: We wander the aisles of home depot and combine random items to create art or toys.

PegFitzpatrick: We do a LOT music, art, you name it!

BruceSallan: I read to them EVERY NIGHT for years!

PegFitzpatrick: We have a wide variety of different creative sparks here. One daughter makes EVERYTHING from duct tape.

GregOrtbach: Life long musician here – so lots of jamming and songs on the fly – not to mention drawing.

PaulBiedermann: Not sure what I would do w/o art or some creative passion in my life. Great way to spend time… always learning & growing!

azmomofmanyhats: Sparking creativity – give them access to things that can put together… words, trinkets, mediums….

padgets: We also made huge messess in the kitchen making suger cut out cookies.

PaulBiedermann: Growing up, I was always the “school artist”, one of those rare ones who always knew what I wanted to do.

DudeOfTheHouse: Always try to keep a crayon stash handy and paper or coloring books nearby.

sharongreenthal: We took our kids to a lot of theater, musicals. Daughter fell in love with B’way – did musical theater and show choir in high school.

azmomofmanyhats: To spark creativity, I have always let them do their own projects – it comes from their minds eye .. not mine.

ContemporaryVA: What don’t I do? LET THEM MAKE a MESS is KEY!

PegFitzpatrick: My kids were all in theater, choir & dance too. SOOOO many shows!

Susan_Silver: My mother had a “crafts” box and let me do what ever I wanted.

JeffFowle: Play along with their imagination, Lego & a lot of outside time on the ranch.

Daddymojo: Ours are super young, but we read LOTS, play act and do lots of animal noises.

azmomofmanyhats: I recognize that creativity is not necessarily the same for each of them.

sharongreenthal: Also never question their imagination – let it run wild!

BruceSallan: When I took my youngest to NY for the #140conf we saw FIVE plays in FIVE days! HE was hooked!

squirleywrath: Our whole family loves music, both older girls are in band & choir, oldest is wants to audition for high school for the arts.

PaulBiedermann: Music is great too—tried to encourage & enable the same in my kids, but need to go with their natural inclinations. Can’t force.

BrandFlair: We do not complete school projects for them. More fun if they look like a kid did it and better for creativity.

ContemporaryVA: Letting them design their own room can be fun as well.

PaulBiedermann: Demanding your kids follow a dream of your own devising is a sure path to sending them in the opposite direction.

squirleywrath: My boy LOVES Lego, creates stuff all the time!

PegFitzpatrick: She makes flowers, wallets, you name it! Custom binders for kids at school. She has rolls and rolls of duct tape.

azmomofmanyhats: I don’t buy a lot of “new supplies” for them to get creative with. Use what is on hand – gets thinking out the box!

FangFeng88: My son used to play Lego at young age, like 3. He liked playing computer a little later. Now he’s in computer major.

sharongreenthal: Imaginary friends were also a big thing in our house. Loved those one-sided convos when they were little!

DudeOfTheHouse: Get lots of stickers and blank paper and let him pick where to stick them.

lance02: We’ll make videos of us using our imagination to create new products from 2 unrelated things (sometimes weird!).

ContemporaryVA: I built a ‘art box’ – scissors, glue, paper, crayons, stapler, the whole 9 yds – it has now turned in to her whole room.

squirleywrath: Took my kids to the ductape festival here in Cleveland, the parade was awesome! I love to see the ductape prom dresses and tuxes!

DudeOfTheHouse: I have multiple coloring apps on my iphone that my 2 y/o now asks for, so even when I don’t have paper and crayons. He can draw.

BrandFlair: Made a kids workbench in the garage. Gave them their own tools & parts from our old Dell computers. Told ’em to have at it!

Susan_Silver: I think the way my parents best sparked my imagination was to let me read without censorship.

BruceSallan: What has worked and what has NOT worked in trying to inspire creativity in your kids?

BruceSallan: I tried SO HARD to get my boys to LOVE sports like I do…DID NOT WORK! Had to let go!

ContemporaryVA: Letting them make their own decisions in clothing HAS worked, throttling their decisions has NOT worked.

azmomofmanyhats: My mom made those for us for Christmas one year. “busy boxes” one of my favorite gifts ever! Made them 4 my kids 2!

PegFitzpatrick: How many people in #dadchat LOVED the Crayola 64 pack??

PaulBiedermann: We would just build things with “found” objects — create robots and weird sculptural stuff. Fun to make something out of nothing!

sharongreenthal: Son wasn’t very creative…mostly loved sports and other “guy” stuff but now he’s got a blog!

Sonya_LeanOnUs: We love taking anything apart. Old washing machines and any applicances. Son loves it then we recycle it.

PegFitzpatrick: How about the couch cushion FORT!!!

BrandFlair: Jealous of kids and the video tools today. We had Super 8 and took forever to make 1 min animated clip.

ContemporaryVA: I say let them be messy! Then teach them responsibility by cleaning up afterwards!

Sonya_LeanOnUs: We made a Dalek out of the old washing machine drum it looked great!

SteveCassady: The cushion forts. Even saw double deckers attempted.

PegFitzpatrick: Does giving the parents a run around count as a sport?

ContemporaryVA: Big favorite in our house is Karaoke Machine and Letting her load her own iPod.

BrandFlair: Gotta have a mud room so they can feel free to get dirty outside and transition back in the house!

CuteMonsterDad: Coloring with crayons can’t be duplicated via an app. It’s simply a unique experience bridging generations.

DonDoesIt: We jam in my music studio. A lot.

BrandFlair: Schools are killing music programs. Exposing them to an instrument is so important. I play my guitar to and with my kids.

ContemporaryVA: She doesn’t like video games! She has a nintendo DS but only uses it on road trips! She prefers to paint on ipad.

JeffFowle: We do hay & straw forts…multi levels & tunnels…great fun, if you can chaff in your underwear.

azmomofmanyhats: Trying to “teach” them to be creative does not work. Letting expression flow does!

BruceSallan: Nurturing my son’s music interest got him just accepted to Berklee College of Music in Boston! His ONLY app!

WhatDaddySees: Any advice for dealing with “instant tantrums” from things as simple as taking a dangerous object away?

BrandFlair: Wish I had all these old motherboards, processors, fans, wires, etc. when I was a kid.

PegFitzpatrick: @WhatDaddySees Ignore the tantrum & use a stern tone when it comes to safety issues! Be consistent.

BG_garden: @WhatDaddySees wow … no tantrums allowed or kiddos get a big TIME OUT!

GregOrtbach: Duck and cover! re: WhatDaddySees: Any advice for dealing with “instant tantrums” from taking a dangerous object away?

TheGoToMom: We love our color art app on iPad. Keeps kids busy on airplanes! But lacks good ol fashioned wax crayon smell.

azmomofmanyhats: Never try to correct their creativity! Always applaud the effort!

FangFeng88: Too much online time I consider is not good for creativity unless he/she wants to be a geek.

1ad_dad: Nothing beats old school play-dough.

BruceSallan: Some things are non-negotiable! re: @WhatDaddySees: Any advice for dealing with “tantrums” from taking a dangerous object away?

markalves: USB mic + Audacity = record your own songs with multi tracks

PaulBiedermann: My son did Flash animations on Mac, composed music on keyboard, imported into animation, posted on YouTube, got followers—At age 10.

BrandFlair: How about we all put our kids on #dadchat and let them get creative with @BruceSallan @PegFitzpatrick and @PaulBiedermann?

Sonya_LeanOnUs: I agree! We used to make plates of food with ours re: 1ad_dad: Nothing beats old school play-dough.

GregOrtbach: We’ve always had fun with empty boxes too.

PegFitzpatrick: Honestly, tantrums are just for attention. Time outs work and they need to be safe. Bottom line.

BruceSallan: WhatDaddySees – YOUR job at that young age is more to protect them…

PaulBiedermann: Wet snow is probably the perfect medium. Comes with hot cocoa, too!

PegFitzpatrick: @WhatDaddySees You will miss the 16 month old tantrum when you get a 16 year old tantrum.

ContemporaryVA: We let her decorate the xmas tree – & last year she planned & decorated her bday party w/ oriental trading…

WhatDaddySees: @BruceSallan I know and there’s no negotiation but after 5, 10 minutes the screaming gets a tad old. Just the age I guess.

BruceSallan: You know, I just LOVE how #DadChat goes from DEAD serious to so much fun! Isn’t that the way it should be?

BruceSallan: Be sure to read the 12Most us three #DadChat hosts wrote for tonight’s chat!

DonDoesIt: I’ve also gotten the kids into oil painting. With knives. Not as dangerous as it sounds… They’re palette knives.

JeffFowle: @WhatDaddySees No means no & if a tantrum results, I ignore it…walk away…as soon as the back turns, tantrum is over now.

LovelyLu: My youngest got in his first fender bender tonight…. it was just yesterday he was crashing Thomas the engine!

ContemporaryVA: Empowering them is the key, let them make their own decisions, give them the tools to create and let them create what they will.

Susan_Silver: We’ve talked about crayons, pillows, duct tape, and play dough. How about paper? I still practice origami.

DonDoesIt: Looking fwd to getting ’em into photography soon. They’re expert iPhone shutterbugs, but I’d like to get them used to real cams.

lukerushly: Creativity is all about testing the limits, so we try to provide a safe environment for our kids to do that.

SteveS1: Best Lego story: Every time they say “Look what I made!”

ContemporaryVA: Paper+Scissors+Glue = Creative Childs Best Friend

PaulBiedermann: Marshmallows & toothpicks… more creative building fun!

azmomofmanyhats: If you have more than one child are they different in how they are creative?

PegFitzpatrick: I make cards and scrapbook. Mostly cards now though.

ContemporaryVA: You know mine really loves scrapbooking paper – all the pretty colors/patterns/textures

SteveS1: Play-Dough rocks…and/but gets stuck to things.

Susan_Silver: I wanted to mention that too. I also work with construction paper. You can get some cool mixed media effects.

PegFitzpatrick: And Silly putty! In hair. UGGG re: Play-Dough rocks…and/but gets stuck to things.

PaulBiedermann: My nephew’s ceiling is covered with his wonderful origami!

lukerushly: We let our kids play with cameras too! We even let them loose with the Flip to make movies and music videos. So fun!

TheGoToMom: Try play-doh and Lego together. OY VEY.

hashtracking: Have a family full of artists I can’t draw a straight line! My kids write too!

azmomofmanyhats: Silly putty gets stuck to furniture too….

ContemporaryVA: And cooking? Mine loves to cook (but dangerous at her age). I make pancakes & then save them in the fridge & let her reheat them

BruceSallan: When your kids have diff passions than yours, it’s really cool that WE get exposed to them!

BrandFlair: Cooking is very creative and fantastic for kids to participate in. Fun family activity!

SteveS1: Mud is good!

DonDoesIt: The Flip is great! You almost can’t make a bad video with it. Perfect for sparking creativity in kids!

sharongreenthal: dress-up clothes were always a big hit

dbvickery: How about Creative Memories scrapbooking? Cool scissors.

Susan_Silver: I loved cooking with my mom as I kid. I learned a lot.

LovelyLu: Every night one of the kids has to be the sous chef

PaulBiedermann: My kids make playlists for ME now! re: kids have diff passions than yours, it’s really cool that WE get exposed to them!

BrandFlair: Funny that I am sitting here surrounded by Lego on our dining room table while I #dadchat. Ha!

ContemporaryVA: let her draw on them with choco syrup and jam.

lukerushly: A big decision we made was to let go the fear of messes. Mud, art supplies, toys everywhere…no mess=no fun!

CupcakeCutieKit: Okay No shamless Plug here but…. Decorating Cupcakes with your kids is ABSOLUTELY The BEST!!!!

BG_garden: I miss #Lego .. we use to build gardens with the primary color set for the StarWars action figures to distroy!

ContemporaryVA: A good question is when have you ever struggled when you wanted to impede their creativity? i.e. drawing on fresh painted walls

PegFitzpatrick: I totally kick it out on Rock Band! (vocals, drums not so much).

wecare_to: My daughter loves for me to tell her bedtimes stories and she has to be the princess with her input.

lukerushly: We also keep a toy box full of dress-up clothes for imaginative play. Old costumes, cheap thrift-store finds. Constantly used.

BrandFlair: What does everyone think of TV’s in kids rooms? Creativity killer? I am not a fan personally!

PaulBiedermann: My son was smart—painted over brand new Wii while we were out!

ContemporaryVA: Mine has one – again empower them to make their own choices – she prefers to ‘do art’ – or morning cartoons on sat.

VoogDesigns: Next up for “dad” is maybe starting “Rap Chat” where Dad tries to teach his song with rhyme!

ContemporaryVA: We do too – but my gal puts them on the dogs!!! re: costumes

BG_garden: we just got our kids ‘RockSmith’ so they plug their real guitar into the Xbox : AWESOME!

ContemporaryVA: Yes! we had to explain that electronics were a ‘no zone’ for art because it can break them!

PaulBiedermann: Yup—graffiti all over. So proud too, couldn’t be too upset. re: painted over brand new Wii

BruceSallan: I limited TV totally when the boys were young! TV is a creativity KILLER IMHO

lryanis: Hi #DadChat – on the topic of art in unexpected places. A while back our son decided grab a marker and draw all over his younger brother.

davidbcrowley: Is there a #dadchat scheduled soon to cover how to get our creative kids to pick up after themselves?

squirleywrath: Pinewood Derby encourages creativity and teaches physics, woodworking, painting.

BruceSallan: Here’s the latest Because I Said So comic in honor of the new look

DonDoesIt: We make it a game! re: Is there a #dadchat scheduled soon to cover how to get our creative kids to pick up after themselves?

ContemporaryVA: Simple room in my house – before you go to bed must have all clean – anything left out gets trashed.

1ad_dad: The Clean Up Song. Works half the time, on good days.

TheGoToMom: We have house filled with Lego kits to trip over! In Nov. I became spokesperson for their Duplo line.

PaulBiedermann: Thanks for having us tonight, @BruceSallan ! Had a fantastic time getting creative with all these wonderful parents!

BruceSallan: Please thank the great @PegFitzpatrick and @PaulBiedermann for co-hosting #DadChat 2nite!

PaulBiedermann: In case you missed my post: Inspiring Kids to Inspire Themselves

PegFitzpatrick: @BruceSallan Thanks for inviting @PaulBiedermann & I and having us on your radio show!

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