When I was around five years old, I remember my mother telling me she vowed when she was younger that her children would be part of the solution to this broken world—not the problem. It’s stuck with me my entire life.
I’d be lying if I said my husband and I haven’t vowed the same thing for our children.
Our children will be part of the solution.
And in order to be part of the solution, we’ve got to nurture their compassion, selflessness, and creativity.
We are all familiar with the term “nurturing creativity,” but does our mind fully understand the importance of this crucial activity? Why it’s so important for us as parents to help our children develop their creativity, and how?
The National Institute of Health published a study on nurturing creativity that emphasized the significance of creativity to the scientific world, and also the importance of creativity to our continued technological advances. While I acknowledge that not all of my children are going to be great scientists that will cure cancer, feed the world, and establish world peace, I do firmly believe that if we’re able to teach them just how powerful their little minds and hearts are, they will be armed to accomplish big and wonderful things in their lifetimes.
You can imagine how interested I was in learning how I could nurture the creativity that is already present inside of them and just waiting to develop.
This study left me with two major impressions. First, scientific progress depends on the ability to produce new ideas. Doesn’t seem so complicated, does it?
Second, being in an interactive environment was the most important factor to developing new ideas. Specifically, the most important interactions were informal interactions, and interactions with those who do things differently from us.
Just like every other parent, I want my children to one day save the world—or at least be a part of the solution. I realize that encouraging every creative bone they’ve got is one big step I can help them take to be the best versions of themselves they can be.
But in our world, we’re pretty busy shuffling our children from activity to activity and filling their minds with less-than-helpful opinions from very early ages. We go about our day with a thousand rules and insane time demands.
My regular readers know I value a simpler, more vintage time where life doesn’t have to be so hard. While I see the value in timelines, consistency, and rules, I also believe that good things come out of a life that doesn’t have to be so hard.
I believe my children can accomplish big things later in their lives if they are simply left to just be children—and the natural creativity they have will one day lead them to be great thinkers, creators, and problem solvers. I just need to make sure I’m helping in every way that I can.
As December nears, I’m already thinking about gifts for my children. With the exception of this site, and their education, it’s important for us to stay as unplugged from the world as we can. We won’t be giving loud toys that our children will stare at for hours on end.
We’ll be looking for vintage toys that help to foster this creativity.
Recently, my daughter had a birthday, and I was privileged to give her a set of Paper Poppets. For those not familiar, the Paper Poppets Activity Set is a set of two paper dolls, two pets, over 50 press and cut-out fashions, and a 32 page color and story book to go with it.
My favorite toys when I was a little girl were my paper dolls. My grandmother used to get me a book from the magazine section of the store once or twice a year.
I’ve been unable to find these for my own daughter until now. And although I prepared myself for the possibility that she wouldn’t value this modern take on the vintage toy that I was so in love with when I was a little girl, much to my delight, she loves them.
My favorite features are the storyline, and the dolls.
While it’s important to learn conflict-resolution, I love that the storyline is simple, and free of conflict. It’s about a beautiful, healthy relationship between two girls that are completely different—and both independent. You can see how this plays right into the study I mention earlier about fostering creativity.
My daughter’s favorite part are all the pages of coloring, and the multiple outfits she can press out and play with.
What she doesn’t know about is the postcard that comes with it. Once she’s made her way entirely through the activity pack and all the outfits, I’ll give her the postcard that asks her to personally complete it, telling the creators of Paper Poppets exactly what she liked about her set, and then we’ll put it into the mail.
If you’re looking for an activity for your child that will transport her into an interactive environment, I’d highly suggest looking into Paper Poppets.
My daughter asks to play with these nearly every day now, and she’s had them for over a week. She’s not even halfway through her activity set, and I know she’s going to be working her way through it for a good while to come. The best part?
My Farmer and I always say our farm is where vintage skills meet modern times, and Paper Poppets fits our credo perfectly. Paper Poppets are a modern twist on a vintage toy that we can’t be happier to have as a part of our home.
Resource: Fostering creativity. A model for developing a culture of collective creativity in science. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. March 2007.