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Let’s Have a Chat!

Raising confident, capable, creative kids… don’t you just love that idea?  That one sentence pretty much sums up everything I’m working towards as a parent.  But it’s no easy task.  A lot of my job focuses on the idea yet usually I find the best parenting advice when I’m just chatting with other moms.  And apparently, I’m not the only one…


Which is why Clif Kid recently had the ingenious idea of getting all of us moms together in one place to have a virtual chat. I’ll be teaming up with registered dietitian and author Frances Largeman-Roth, as well as my pal Zina from Let’s Lasson the Moon as an official Zmom on:

Wednesday, November 14th at 9:00 AM PST (12:00 EST).

RSVP here!

Hosted by parents, for parents, it’s going to be a live chat where parents can ask questions, swap stories and share tips.  The forum will focus on ways parents can nourish healthy, balanced kids through Nutrition, Activity, Creativity and Exploration.  I can’t wait to get the chance to virtually meet some of you and to trade parenting secrets.  Oh, and did I mention – THERE WILL BE PRIZES TOO!

What I really love about the forum, is it’s well-balanced approach to nourishing kids. Along with sharing ways to keep our kids healthy and active, we’ll also be discussing ideas on how to cultivate their creativity and independence.  

The Zmoms even thought it would be fun to start talking about some of these things ahead of time. Next week, Frances will be dropping by with a fabulous post on how to add more color to your family’s meals and today, I thought I’d share a little about how I try to foster creativity in my little ones.

If you’ve ever visited The Make & Play Vault, then you know the kids and I do our fair share of arts and crafts.  What I hope is also obvious, is that I’m a big proponent of open-ended art activities.  Yes, we still do handprint turkeys on Thanksgiving, but in general I’m a much bigger believer in presenting my kids with a bunch of supplies and seeing where they go with it.

My moto is always:

It’s about the process, not the product.

Sometimes, though, I do find that my little ones get stuck without direction.  This yarn and sandpaper activity we did last March is the perfect example.  My son liked it a lot for the first 10 minutes, but then he seemed to run out of ideas. Making him a few cards with patterns that he could copy did the trick in regaining his interest.  After a few minutes he stopped using the cards and returned to his own creations – which was exactly what I hoped would happen.

One type of open-ended play that I’m particularly fond of is sensory play.  Any opportunity for my kids to be hands on is always a winner in my book.  It’s so much more engaging for them to really get to use their senses of touch, sight, smell, hearing, and sometimes even taste.  A few of our favorite sensory activities include:

Another creativity trick I’ve learned over the years is to take it beyond the crayons and paper.  Using art supplies in new ways is a fail-proof technique for capturing your kids’ interest.  For this try DIY Body Paint and DIY Window Paints.

Finally, don’t forget that arts and crafts aren’t the only tools available for building creativity. Building and dramatic play are also great way for kids to get creative.

For constructing ideas, check out:

And for dramatic play ideas, see:

That’s how we’re cultivating creativity at our house.  I really hope you’ll join us next Wednesday to discuss how you do it – as well as ways parents can nourish healthy, balanced kids through Nutrition, Activity, Creativity and Exploration. See you there!



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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karin B November 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

This sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately day chats don’t work for many working moms.


mpmk November 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

Hi Karin,

I totally understand that. The problem is it’s really tough to find a time that works for everyone with the time difference – what’s dinnertime in some home’s is pretty late in others. Our hope is that at least some working moms will be able to chime in during their lunch break.



Debbye November 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Wonderful looking ideas! I wish there were more hours in the day, as creative play does take a backseat to all of the other things in our day. Going to read more about DIY body paint and life-size blocks right now! Thank you for the inspiration!


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