jMama Mia! Little Suzi needs a creative nudge |

jMama Mia! Little Suzi needs a creative nudge

jMama Mia! I am worried about my daughter. She can never find anything to play with by herself. Itand#8217;s like she doesnand#8217;t have the creativity to come up with things to do during her down time.

You mean, when you want five minutes to unpack the groceries or 15 minutes to throw dinner in the oven she will not leave you alone? Or, are you frustrated that little Suzi is surrounded by playthings but canand#8217;t employ any of it? I hate to say it, but I think thatand#8217;s more a mom problem. There is no escape from the little one who wants all of your attention all of the time. In the life of a child there is no better playmate than mom. So resolve yourself to that fact immediately and stop trying to shake her.

All the creativity experts say the best way to foster creative play is to show and do; thus requiring you to be a part of the action yet again. and#8220;The most powerful way to develop creativity … is to be a role model. Children develop creativity not when you tell them to, but when you show them,and#8221; writes Robert J. Sternberg in and#8220;How to develop student creativity.and#8221; Dr. Leslie Owen Wilsonand#8217;s site has some informative articles, citations, science and research to support the creative arts in children

If you are genuinely concerned for her creative spirit than you need to play a part in helping it grow and develop. Time to get creative yourself! Look online or at the local toy store for fun activities that will engage you both. I would suggest Dylanand#8217;s Delights in its new location on commercial row or Ambassador Toys at Northstar to find some cool games or projects to do together. A terrific site called offers lots of really neat age-appropriate ideas.

Armed with the materials and concepts you will now need to find ample time to execute. One of the essentials to fostering creativity is allowing plenty of time for the free flow of ideas and problem solving that encourage unique, original thoughts and actions which are the seeds from where young imaginations blossom.

The process is whatand#8217;s most important, so do not worry about finishing or arriving at some end. Simply spending time together coloring, drawing, cutting, pasting, manipulating is the best way to encourage your daughter to open up and find her creative path.

Another essential is keeping your adult perspective and judgments out of the game. While painting for example, try to stay away from illustrating the way you want it done. Simply offer the full color palette and allow Suzi the freedom to choose which colors go where. Do not push her into a box where purple dogs or green children canand#8217;t live simply because it shocks your own sense of what is correct. Allowing for an unadulterated version of her own world will make her feel comfortable experimenting, thus exercising her creative muscle.

The truth is we all need opportunities to explore our imaginations. The benefits of creative play are not just for children, so sharpen your colored pencils and let your wild pink feathery animal take flight. Enjoy!

and#8212; If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail or call 587-KIDS.

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