Friday, April 12, 2013

I'm excited to be joined today by Jodi Hutchings. She has been married five years and is mother of two adorable little girls. Jodi holds a BS in Sociology and a minor in family life. She is a fabulous photographer and is the owner of Jodi Hutchings Photography. Feel free to check out her site. She took my author profile pictures and she did amazing! She loves cooking and has become quite the connoisseur and advocate of healthy eating. Here is how Jodi takes creativity with the family to the next level!

While there are plenty of aspects of my parenting that are less than perfect, one thing I am good at is being creative.  Little kids are easy to entertain and impress.  One thing I've learned is that spontaneously acting on one random creative idea can lead to hours of fun and laughing.  The moment I pretend an object is something else, or break into a new song to teach them, or tell a made up story, or come up with a scenario to act out, my kids's eyes light up and we connect in a unique way that brings us joy.  I think young kids thrive on creative play and it helps them develop their imaginations and initiate spontaneous creative play on their own and with others.  Make believe play is cheap or free, and leads to long-lasting family bonds.

You can be creative in any house with any object.  We have had our living room couches for five years.  These second-hand couches are well-worn but have served us well.  Both couches have five cushions each.  Ten cushions is a lot when combined for creative play and they can be useful in almost any make-believe situation!

We stack all ten together to make a "horse."
The "horse" easily bucks us off with a little jostling. 
Place them upright with a roof and you get a pretty awesome tunnel.
Then we get tired and "take a nap."
And then there's always good old fashioned pillow fights.

The pillows and couches they belong to have provided hours upon hours of play - turning into trampolines, slides, islands in the middle of the ocean, and are only limited at the limits of our imaginations.

Boxes can also become almost anything.  Every kid I've ever met loves a good box.  Well, who knew moms could improve them?  One Saturday I emptied a new box of diapers into my daughter's drawer and was about to dispose of the box when I got an idea.  As my children climbed in and out and tried to push each other I noticed how much the box resembled a small car.  I took the idea and ran with it.

I divvied up age appropriate tasks and we worked together to accomplish the transformation. The side flaps became wheels and the back flap became headlights and taillights.

My one year old "inspected" my tools, my three year old traced circles, and I took charge of any dangerous tools.

My little one went down for a nap which became a perfect opportunity to get the paints out.  I was able to locate some older and unneeded paint in our storage and I worked together with my daughter to wash and dry our brushes for later reuse which made this project harmless on our budget.  I
My daughter has a love for painting and aches for me to satisfy her craving.

After all the pieces dried we glued them on and enjoyed this car for days.

These are some of the things that our family enjoys.  But what do you have?  Being creative doesn't mean you have to spend hours on Pinterest or covet and recreate your friends' projects.  Just look around, use what you have and be creative!  It doesn't have to be hard, expensive, or stressful.  Would your table and chairs make an exciting fort?  Does any of your kids' food need a makeover with food coloring?  Do you have any personal stories or nursery rhymes from your childhood you can share?  Is a dance party or field trip in order?

Your kids will love your ideas and you will have great memories being creative together.


Thank you Jodi for the wonderful insights. One last reminder about Geocaching mania. It ends tonight at 5:00 pm MST. Send me those pictures!!!

I have had some inquiries as to how to follow this site. I have added a button in the top right hand corner of the blog. Just click on "Join this site" and google will walk you through it. We would love and appreciate you joining us. Let me know if you have any questions or problems. Have a FUN weekend!

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