The Loss of Creativity in America

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The Loss of Creativity in America
Do we even notice it? Our lives are so busy- and sometimes it’s just SO easy to put our children to the side and get our own work done. I admit it- I’ve done it myself. But there must be a balance. And I’m not just talking about getting rid of your TV (although it’s not such a bad idea!). Used properly the TV can be an wonderful educational tool. My son was aided in learning his phonics and numbers through educational videos.
 I’ve seen parents who never do even one craft with their children. Children- teenagers even- who have never set foot in a library, or in an art museum. Families who never cook or bake from scratch- at all. Not even to make cookies. I’m not saying that your kids are deprived if you don’t do one of these things, but as I get older I realize how many things I wish I knew how to do that even kids in my generation were missing out on!
Children today are taught in the schools, and at school- in such a way that they are not encouraged to find their own solutions. Why? Because it takes time- and let’s face it- who has extra time? Teachers are required to instruct students exactly what will be on standardized tests- and nothing more. Parents have errands to run and work to finish. Districts are pulling out art and music electives. Children are being taught not to ask questions, and not to stray from what is being taught.
Growing up some of my favorite memories were catching and keeping my own bugs, baking cookies, playing tug of war over a mud pit, building science projects, or swinging on a Tarzan rope over a creek. These are all sensory hands-on experiences. You know what I don’t remember- all of the countless hours spent in a classroom listening to the drone of a lecture. But there ARE a few classes that I do remember- and those teachers made a difference to me. Every class that I do remember not only included hands-on instruction, but also hands-on activities. Get your kids out of your seat and moving. I’m not saying get rid of classrooms, but I think our homes and our classrooms are a critical place for children. They should be encouraged to get dirty, try hands-on experiments, learn cause and effect- not just read about it in a book.
Let your kids jump in the puddles- IN the rain! (as long as there’s no lightning)
Send them to the dining room table with a bowl of cornstarch and water to play in.
Leave the garden hose on and make a mud pit or mud slide.
Let your kids measure the ingredients for cookies, or chip dip.
Let your kids catch a frog or lizard and keep it in their bedrooms for a few nights.
Set up a tent inside or in your backyard for the night.
Watch your kids come alive as your start allowing them to get dirty, to construct their own messes and inventions, and let down just a few of those rules which we expect our children to adhere to.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi, great post. I stumbled you! Here's my post if you can return the favor!

  2. Jaleta Clegg says:

    Here from Stumble Tumble Tuesday

    Great post. Kids need outdoor time and time to just be kids and get messy. I'm with you on this one. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I so agree, and kids are never encouraged to do anything by themselves. Kids that are nine and ten and unable to do anything without help.

  4. Still Blonde after all these YEARS! says:

    Love that creativity. My daughter has it—the boys not so much!

    Stumbled you, please stumble me back at

    Also, we have a great giveaway going on right now that you may want to consider entering. $120 Urban Tool eReader Gadget slotBar Bag Giveaway! 2 Winners! Check it out on the right hand sidebar

  5. Keenly Kristin says:

    GREAT post…you've got me motivated to perhaps camp out in the yard when it gets a little warmer! My kids thank you! (maybe!)

    Stumbled you…would love if you could stumble me back Thanks!
    Kristin 🙂

  6. I stumbled you, my post is here

  7. Maple Leaf Mommy says:

    Brilliant post. Thank you.

    Stumbled you.

  8. I so agree with you about the loss of creativity. I am a retired teacher who "tried" as much as the curriculum allowed to give my students creative experiences. I now spend time with my two grandchildren trying to do the same. I will say though that I am running out of ideas. I have gotten ideas from you which I've used…thank you! Please keep the ideas or websites for ideas coming. I really, really need them:)

  9. Kelly's Lucky You says:

    Great advice! I stumbled you (hope you stop by Stumble Tumble Tuesday again this week).

    I don't let my daughter say "bored" – I tell her only people without imagination get bored.

  10. ~*~The Family~*~ says:

    Yep, you are right on all accounts. My kids have had friends over who don't know how to play. How odd I always thought but it must be universal.

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