We have a new person joining the ranks here at An Intense Life – Amanda Hull. Amanda is actually the adult daughter of another contributor, Donna Leonard. Amanda brings a fresh eye and style to her posts that I think you will love….

So, take it away Amanda:

At a training for work (I work at an afterschool program with 60 children in grades K-5), Tammy Marino handed out markers, crayons, construction paper, brightly colored foam stickers and told us all to create whatever came to mind, if we so choose- or to not create at all if we didn’t want to.  Most of the adults participated- a birthday card was created, a foam name card, a picture of a dinosaur attacking a building. I took just a blue and a purple marker and used my own black pen to draw a giant squid on the folder we were supposed to be using to hold our new papers. I colored the paper with the markers then used a small paintbrush from my purse, dipped it in water then painted over the color for a watercolor effect.

As I worked on my slightly tragic looking one-eyed squid, Tammy Marino asked the room full of adults what they’re creative habits were. When do you feel most creative? In what circumstances? And, of course, how can you apply your own creative preferences to the children?

The lesson being taught was that if adults differentiate in their creative preferences, children certainly do and when a child feels they are without control regarding when and how they can go about creating something, meltdowns can ensue.  

That said, from my observations, as long as the child finds the creative task at hand to be in any way interesting, they will attack with a gusto I rarely see in adults. Which brings me to a slight divergence in topic.

What’s up with all these non-creative adults? Do we hit a certain age where we just leak out creative potential like my 93 Honda leaked out coolant? Maybe we’re just too busy walking in and out of tall buildings and entering numbers in small white squares.

I hate to give away the answer so quickly, but my bus leaves soon so time is against me. From what I have read and seen, it seems once again the enemy is fear. Adults have much more time to calcify an ego that sings of their inadequacies daily. Internal fears must be treated how a butterfly collector treats her specimen. Identify, pin, observe. Adults must come to a better understanding of their own creative inhibitors in order to help the children they love reach their potentials. 



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