Creative Play
I've been finding that my kids need a set time where they can be creative. For us, later morning seems to work best. Every one has full tummies, burned off a little energy around the house and now needs "something" to do. Sometimes structured creativity can be good, like what we did yesterday. In one of the old Sesame Street books I bought at the Salvation Army, Eve found a recipe for "Cookie Monster" cookie dough along with instructions on how to make some of the show's characters. We had to adjust it a bit since we choose to not eat jelly beans, but that allowed even more room for creativity. We used some coconut dyed with food coloring along with peanuts, dried cherries, carob chips, and sprinkles as our decorating tools. Daniel and I sat down with the kids and spent an hour playing and decorating - it was fun! There was freedom to be creative yet it was a structured environment.

Other times I let the kids have total freedom with their time. Today was a watercolor paint and marker bonanza! I try really hard to withhold any personal need of my own to keep things tidy and clean because it just isn't going to work that way.

I have classical music on pretty much non-stop throughout the day but during this creative time I like to talk about what we are listening to. Yesterday we discovered what an accordion looks like and how it is played while we listened to it sing away on the radio.

I enjoy this time during the morning hours - I do my kitchen chores, laundry, start dinner preparations, or write a letter. I do the things I need to do while being close and available to the children. Amazingly enough this creative time often seems to last for a couple of hours. It makes me feel good to know that their little minds are working away in freedom and creativity while still being close enough to me so we can chat and have fun together.
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