We all have a creative side, and for kids and young teens, those creative venues are often unexplored until you give a little nudge. With the ever-increasing lure of video games, television, and social media, it’s easy for kids to get sucked in, and spend all their spare time vegging out indoors. So, if you’re one of those parents tired of coming home from work to find that your preteen kids are still watching television and don’t seem to have accomplished anything at all that day, here are some ideas to feed their minds and souls…
Film a Music Video
This project is especially fun for a group of girls. No musical chops? It doesn’t matter! Lip-synch your heart out. This project is fun because it has room for a wide range of talents and exploration. Your child can feel free to experiment with costuming, film scripts, and editing. And while the whole project is ultimately for fun, learning more about film and video is a very useful skill that your child can utilize in the future.
Record a New Song
So what if your child is musically inclined? Sometimes it’s hard to feel motivated about the instrument until there’s a specific goal, and a way to express yourself musically outside of the usual band experience. Instead of doing another YouTube video recorded on their computer’s default equipment, get an exciting new mic that picks up instrumentation well and let your child start dreaming big. Music is the perfect way to express yourself during a moody phase of life, and your child will not only learn great new skills, but also find a great outlet for emotional release.
Learn to Make a Dress
Not many of us bother learning about clothing construction anymore. However, it can be a great way to express yourself creatively. In fact, it’s inevitable that we express ourselves through our clothes. If it’s something that your child is passionate about, learning some basic sewing skills could be a much better way to do it than springing for designer clothes at any given opportunity.
Dresses are especially useful as a beginner project. Casual dresses have a lot of flexibility to their construction, so errors won’t be so glaring as your child starts out. Additionally, light cotton fabrics are almost ubiquitously the easiest thing to work with when you’re learning to sew. Take your daughter to a fabric store to pick out a pattern, then set her up with the tools she’ll need. Even if you’re not experienced enough to teach her yourself, there are plenty of online resources to help her get over hurdles, and you might even be able to learn together.
Barbecue for the Family
How often do you get help from your children when it comes to meal planning and prep? Nutrition is something that every teen should understand, and starting now will establish some skills that they can build on before leaving for college. Furthermore, cooking is actually a creative pursuit that not many of us think about.
Get your child started in the kitchen by handing over some fun barbecue duties to them. Teach them about the grill and how to prepare the meat. If they’re feeling ambitious, they can throw together their own marinade, or a few, and have the family vote on which one is the best.
Enter a Poetry Contest
The beautiful outdoors has long provided the bread and butter inspiration of poets everywhere. If your child is a good writer, encourage them in their hobby by introducing some writing contests. A poetry contest is the perfect place for them to experiment in expression, without feeling too much pressure. If they get into the scene, they can actually end up earning some money and some solid scholarships for college. Look into online literary journals, local school, library, and community resources (sometimes your local public gardens or Lions Club will have something of the sort), as well as social awareness projects. There are some great leads here.
Build Something for the Yard
It might be like pulling teeth, getting your kid to help with mowing the lawn, but have you ever thought that maybe one of the reasons they’re so reluctant is that they’re not able to dictate the creative boundaries of that project themselves? Instead, what if you point your child’s energy into a construction project in the backyard? They can create their own little haven, either by setting up a fun hammock space, building a bench, or painting the fence with a creative pattern. They might be interested in creating a fire pit, where they can invite friends over to roast marshmallows, or make an old-fashioned faerie maze like they have in some medieval castles, gardens, and even churches. Let them dictate what they want to do, set a budget for them to work with, and then let them loose!