“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.’
— Pablo Picasso
My experience as a special education teacher, and through my childhood as a student, has cemented by belief that there are so many ways to be intelligent. Some people excel at math, some excel at understanding turned within literature. Some excel with empathy and intra-personal skills. Some excel at drawing and photography. Some excel at athletics.
Most have multiple forms of intelligence, which can be fostered if given the opportunity. If you are interested in reading more about multiple intelligences, research Howard Gardner. He breaks these intelligence down into eight categories:
Creativity is a form of intelligence that can be seen through many different talents.
I believe that everyone is creative. I believe that if we foster this creativity and allow ourselves to give into this creativity, we feel a sense of grounding as a human. I also believe there are multiple creative outlets.
My husband is a creative problem solver. He takes in logistical mind and can tap into creative ways to strategies within a company. He is also has great spacial awareness. He can visualize a map and navigation well. (I’m the type that needs to flip my phone around as I go in order to understand a map! Thank goodness I’m not in charge of navigating big family road trips!)
My dad is very bodily-kinstetically creative and intelligent. He was a tennis coach for many years and was able to teach players how to see their bodies in perspective with the world around them. He is also able to conceptualize a home project and bring it to life with his hands. He has a logical mind as well and can take an idea from start to finish in direct steps.
My mom has an amazing naturalistic intelligence. She creates gorgeous gardens and flower pieces. She can also decipher what makes a landscape beautiful or express how nature can ease your mind. She uses this creative talent in the kitchen as well- taking plants and meats and transforming them into delicious meals to enjoy as a family.
As parents, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is to help them understand and believe in their creative intelligence.
I have tried to expose Lydia to life experiences that help nourish these intelligences. While I mostly focus on the natural world, we began finger painting when she was very young. She loves the sensory experience of painting. It always starts off calm, her gracefully sticking her finger in the paint. Within a minute, it turns into a full on sensory experience of mushing, splattering, squishing, crinkling, giggling and me preventing her from eating her art.
Painting with their feet is a wonderful way to add sensory input into their day. You can sing “jumping songs”, help them walk across their arts and who doesn’t love little baby foot print art?
Tummy time art was one of our favorites. Sometimes I just played her on a blanket or threw a towel over a Boppy pillow. My personal favorite was my husband’s idea of putting her on our corn hole board to prop her up. As you can see, she thought this idea was pretty awesome.
As she is getting older, I can see her artwork change. Yes, it still looks like a jumbled mess of colors, but it you look closely, you can see the movement of her hands differing from her original masterpieces.
We are blessed with friends that love to get dirty too! One of my favorite things to do is to host painting play dates. Also, if you are a naturally inclined mama, check out Alexandra’s Instagram feed for some inspiration. ( Also, stay tuned for my new recipes for natural paint. I use all different paints- homemade and some awesome natural ones that you can buy. I’m now trying to stay clear of the regular store bought paint do to the toxins. )
Above all else, I challenge you to allow yourself the freedom to create. Allow your children to be creative, even if it means spending the ten extra minutes to clean up the mess.