Getting Kiddos to Create

Margaret Riley inspiration kids


By Margaret Riley

Are the kids on the computer and using their handheld devices too much? Do you worry about what it is doing to them? YOU, the adult, will have to be the inspiration to those young people. I started my two sons out with crayons as soon as they could hold one in their hand. I gave them edible clay to sculpt with (Click >>HERE<< for a recipe). I guided them to create and use their imagination. Now I am encouraging grandchildren to be creative! Recently I took stretched canvases, paint, and brushes to their home with the instructions to paint what they remember of the beach they visit every October. Each is very talented in the art field with two excelling in their art abilities. When we did these canvas painting, their ages were 12, 10, 7, and 5. Thanks, son, for giving me fun grandchildren!

Since I live in Florida and they all live in Indiana, I almost always try to do one or two crafts with them. It is a challenge to find something that both the 12-year-old and the 5-year-old can do but also meets the different levels of maturity in their eye and hand coordination. I love seeing how their minds work! I just hope in the future that they reflect back on the fun we had creating.

For Christmas, give the child(ren) in your life an ornament to decorate with sequins, felt, paint or markers, and sewing trims. Why not have them make something to give to their parents on Christmas morning? I still have a ceramic pencil holder that my oldest son gave me 38 years ago when in pre-school.

Why not have them make favors for Christmas? Pipe cleaners with a star cut out of felt is a simple creation but adding glitter will make your holiday table shine. Have them paint Styrofoam stars gold metallic, put a dowel stick into them, and place the stars at various heights on a sheet of Styrofoam with artificial greenery added. Wah-la! The kids and you have created a fabulous holiday centerpiece!

It is important to encourage kids to be creative. Keep their drawings to show how they improve with the passing time. I still have my drawings that I did in 3rd through 6th grades. I was into chalk in many of those paintings! Maybe I should try that with the grandkids?

No matter what you choose to have them create, display it with pride. I put magnet strips on the back of their canvas paintings and have them on the refrigerator for my own private art gallery showing.



This month they were vacationing about two hours north of me, and we got to have a visit with them. I took wood letters (letter of their first name) that I painted in their favorite colors and a large bag of seashells that my parents collected when they lived in Florida. I had the grandchildren glue those shells onto their letters. The kids got a kick out of the shark teeth and each had to have a couple of those to display in their creations. Such a simple craft but it worked for the age span. Be creative with them and just create memories!!

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