8 “Rules” for a Creative Home

Do “rules for a creative home” sound as contradictory to you as it does to me? When it comes to creativity I tend to think of words like “outside-the-box” or “unrestrained”. Why would you limit your creative process with boring rules, right??

These aren’t meant to be restricting rules, per say. They’re more like guidelines for what to do and have in your life to promote creativity in your children.

8 Simple Rules for Raising Kids to be Creative | thegrowingcreatives.com

Applying these “rules” to your home can help expand your children’s thinking and from there they can go as far as their imagination will take them! (Hopefully it doesn’t take them anywhere destructive but I’ll trust you to apply your own rules from here haha)

1. Have a good supply of dress clothes

8 Tips for a Creative Home- have a good supply of dress clothes | thegrowingcreatives.com
This kid is ready to go up, up, and away!!

They can be as simple as your old clothes, cut up sheets or curtains, hats or masks made of paper etc. Just give them something they can physically put on.

Kids don’t need much in way of actual props for pretend play, but if you are going to invest in any play items I highly suggest play clothes. They might use the same scarf a hundred different ways but actually having that scarf to put on adds so much to their playtime.

Imagining invisible stuff is super fun too, but it can only go so far before your kid becomes the weirdo that has created a whole world around them that no one can see. Totally joking- that would be awesome and is pretty much how I imagine someone like J.K. Rowling’s life to be. Plus don’t let anyone tell you being a weirdo is a bad thing.

Nevertheless, adding a few play silks or hats to your collection will give your kids a ton of new ideas for playing.

2. Stock up on art supplies

8 tips for a creative home-  stock up on art supplies | thegrowingcreative.com
“I have too many art supplies”- said no one ever

Bare minimum being something to draw with (markers, crayons, colored pencils) and something to draw on (an old receipt, junk mail..  whatevs). There are so many things you can add to your artistic arsenal and many you can get quite cheap!

Having a variety helps expose your kid to an assortment of mediums and techniques to find what they really like. Plus it keeps crafts interesting when they can try different things.

Interesting = entertaining for a longer period of time = a major win for everyone involved. In a couple weeks I will be sharing a post on the essential craft supplies to have on hand, so make sure to check back for a complete list!

3. Read together!

8 tips for a creative home- read together! | thegrowingcreative.com
Books add to our children’s imagination with every page

My favorite way to score books is at local book sales but you can also just check books out from the library and always have a revolving set of new books to read. Any expert will tell you how important reading is for child development so I don’t think too much elaboration is needed here.

However, I will say that reading vastly opens up your child’s world and gives them something to be creative WITH. How else will they pretend to be cowboys, princesses, dinosaurs, etc if they never hear about them anywhere? Books give them an incomparable creative foundation to build on.

4. Teach respect for art supplies

8 tips for a creative home- respect art supplies | thegrowingcreatives.com
The rule above all rules: do not spread the glitter everywhere!

Of course they’re going to get amped-up at times, who doesn’t get psyched over finger painting?! But when they start ripping paper into little bits or smashing paintbrushes into their paint, they’re not really doing it for the art anymore.

We don’t want to hinder their discoveries or “creative process”, but they should still be respectful of their things.

Lulu had this sUpEr FuN habit of peeling the wrapper off her crayons and breaking them in half. Now she’s moved on to stabbing her markers into the paper which flattens them out. This always results in having them put away for the time being.

Don’t feel like a bad parent for pausing a project to give them a mental break.

Too much chaos can overwhelm kids and at that point they’re just thinking about being hyper and need someone to rein them in. Don’t feel like a bad parent for pausing a project to give them a mental break.

5. Don’t micromanage

8 tips for a creative home- don't micromanage | thegrowingcreatives.com
Probably not the way I would’ve chosen to use the paint

This applies to art and play. As much as you really want your 2-year-old to nail that seasonal tree painting, what are they gaining by having you take over to make it “look nicer”? By the way that is totally a real example for me because my daughter only ever wants to use brown paint and puts all the “leaves” in one spot which drives me crazy BUT I don’t know man, brown blobs inspire her I guess.

As far as pretend play or building goes, let them take the lead- this is their learning time!! Even if it doesn’t seem to make sense, who cares it’s playtime. Sure things might get a little uncomfortable when your daughter wants to give you a diaper change (amiright?) but outside of anything inappropriate or dangerous, let ’em at it!

Playing together is a two-way street.

By the way- this doesn’t mean let them boss you around either. One of my pretend play pet peeves (say that 5 times fast) is when a child repeatedly tries to tell me what to say in response to them. “Do you want to order some food? Ok now say you want a sandwich”. Mm, no thanks. I’ll get whatever the heck type of pretend food I want, kiddo.

Playing together is a two-way street and just like you shouldn’t control their imaginary world, they shouldn’t be allowed to control yours either. Just embrace whatever silly ideas they come up with and rollllllllll with it.

6. Buy silent toys

8 tips for a creative home- buy silent toys | thegrowingcreative.com
Legos are great for inspiring creativity. Unless they’re left on the floor like this- that inspires me to have an adult tantrum.

Their brains and your patience will thank me. I mean, forget your kids for a second- who wants to listen to all that noise? I can definitely appreciate the idea behind many of these toys meant for learning, and they are great to have as well. But for our purpose of expanding imaginations, silent toys are much more helpful.

Toys that don’t have all the bells and whistles make kids think about how to use them more. Toys that sing and light up are often only used in that way. Give a kid a stuffed animal that they love and they can come up with a ton of fun things to do with it. Heck, give ’em a box and the possibilities are endless.

The point is to have toys that don’t direct the play for your kids, so that they can exercise their own imagination skills by deciding how to play on their own.

7. Look for inspiration around the house

8 tips for a creative home- look for inspiration around the house | thegrowingcreatives.com
You wouldn’t believe how entertaining these are for my 9 month old.

Taking a page out of the old school parenting book on this one. The kitchen is prime imagination territory. Take out some pots and measuring cups, beat on them with wooden spoons- hey you’ve got yourself a rock band!

Get your strainer and some pipe cleaners- your toddler will be entertained forEVER and learn some great fine motor skills too. Build a fort in your living room or go fishing in the bathtub.There are so many fun opportunities to learn and play creatively all throughout your home.

8. Lastly, GET OUTSIDE!!

8 tips for a creative home- get outside!! | thegrowingcreatives.com
Is there a child alive that can resist a good mud puddle?

Something about all that fresh air kicks kids’ imaginations into high gear. When I was a child I had an entire imaginary second life that revolved around exploring the woods near my friend’s house, it was awesome.

Now, I know most people’s situations don’t allow for their kids to run off into the woods these days. But there are endless ideas for what to do outside with your littles. Even normal activities like eating lunch can be so much more inspiring when done on a picnic blanket in the backyard.

Nothing will awaken your child’s imagination better than surrounding them with God’s natural beauties. No one can beat the OG Creator! Pick something to collect and make art with it, go on a scavenger hunt, start a little garden.

Let them get their hands dirty and their minds renewed. Before you know it, their world will look like a completely difference place through the lens of a thriving imagination.

Nothing will awaken your child’s imagination better than surrounding them with God’s natural beauties.

I hope you found some of my fancy and super strict rules helpful! If not, I’m sorry to say you’ll have to go in time out for rule-breaking. Hopefully you’re catching on to my joking and sarcasm by now- I don’t want any angry parents writing to me about having to stand in the corner for 5 minutes 🙂

What are some of your rules for a creative home? Do you already do some of what I listed, or do you have any other awesome ideas not mentioned? Comment below so we can chat, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

8 Simple Rules for Raising Kids to be Creative | thegrowingcreatives.com

Now that your home is full of tons of creativity, check out some of our other posts, like this one, for more imaginative crafts and activities for kids!

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30 thoughts on “8 “Rules” for a Creative Home

  1. I remember as a child ripping the paper off of my crayons and smashng the markers into paper and flattening them… I honestly don’t think I knew why I was doing it, but now I think you’re right that a mental break is needed! Tiny minds get frustrated so easily.

    1. So true! Plus kids just have a natural tendency to make messes if allowed. I think those are the times they’re trying to tell us “I need you to show me what the boundaries are.”

    1. Oh science kits are awesome! I can’t wait til my daughter gets a little older and we can get into the really cool science-to stuff:)

  2. I can definitely see how important it is to start the creative flow early on in their lives! I saw this video the other day of this little girl hanging (laying on her belly) on this cool swinging chair inside and she had a huge piece of paper taped to the floor beneath her and she was just dragging the paint brush. Every now and then she would get close to the edge and i just kept thinking how awesome it was that that mom was not micro managing her and freaking out about the possibility of making a mess! Definitely admirable and the way I want to be when I have kids someday 🙂

    1. Oh that sounds so fun! I have to admit the micromanaging is something I’m constantly having to work on, it can be so hard at times. But so beneficial for the kiddos if they can have that freedom

    1. Absolutely! I am a big fan of letting them decide how to play with something rather than have the toy tell them what to do

    1. Yes!!! Technology can be great but kids are so uncomplicated that low tech activities can be much more beneficial when it comes to their imagination

    1. It is definitely a great activity for kids! I mostly keep it to only crayons and coloring books that are really accessible because I only want messes that I am facilitating lol!

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