I had some homework to do from the map class: make an imaginary city with cut up coloured shapes from construction paper.
You know that we always have art supplies out and ready to go in the kitchen, right? We can't even eat at the kitchen table because it is full of paper and pens and markers and scissors and glue and a science kit and a crystal kit. Plus all the crazy erasers that the girl bought at the Scholastic Book Fair.
If you can get at it easily, you'll make more art. The girl will make more art.
So the girl was having a snack after school and I started drawing some roads for my imaginary city. I cut out some shapes. And watching me begin primed the girl's creative pump and she joined in. Made her own modifications of course - that's how collaboration works. Instead of 2D buildings, we had 3d buildings.
As parents who want to encourage our kids to be creative we should be a cross between Tom Sawyer and the Pied Piper. It's good to have the supplies out but that's really only the first step. Sometimes they just need to see us start something and they will jump right in.
It's like Ben Silberman who tells us to surround ourselves with people who inspire. We can be that inspiring creative person to our kids too - let them see us working on our art and photography and music and projects. And let them collaborate with us.
So today after school there'll be some more imaginary city building. It may not be exactly what Anne Ditmeyer intended but I think we might also have another map lover in the making.
How do you interest your kids in making art? What's worked for you?