Encouraging Kids to Have Creative Time Daily

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When schools closed this past spring and my boys’ schooling went all remote, I quickly learned that chaos would ensue if I didn’t have some sort of schedule for my family. After a few weeks of trial and error, I created what I called their “Corona Learning Schedule,” with time scheduled each day for e-learning, chores, and free time. I also carved out some time for my preteens to do something creative so that they didn’t spend every other waking hour of the day on electronics.

While being creative means something different for every family, creative time in our home typically focuses on music, with my eldest having spent years in private lessons for guitar and both my kids being in the school band. During their daily creative time, I wanted them to practice their instruments, but practicing can often feel like schoolwork, so I also encouraged them to pursue other forms of creativity and to take on “passion projects,” as well.

I carved out some time for my preteens to do something creative, so that they didn’t spend every other waking hour of the day on electronics.

I gave them a list of ideas that they could do during their creative time, but ultimately let my two tweens decide what they’d spend their scheduled creative hour each day doing. I wanted them to be excited about whatever they chose to do, but I still thought it was important to suggest new things for them to consider that they might not originally think about trying. I suggested online classes I had discovered, like photography classes and cake-decorating classes. They could draw, paint, or do something else artistic.

They could take a drama class, build something, create their own game, or write a poem. Whatever creative endeavor they wanted to pursue that day, I supported them. There are so many ways kids can be creative, and I just wanted them to explore their creative sides while we were stuck at home and they had the time to do so.

Planning for Passion Projects

Another thing I suggested to my boys was the idea of “passion projects.” This would be a long-term project that they could start and continue working on for months — or even years — that would bring them a sense of purpose and joy. They started by thinking about what things interested them and then created something with that new knowledge they had uncovered. My youngest son decided he wanted to learn how to start his own business and started creating videos, while my other son took on a more analytical project and used his passion for football to create what he thought an ultimate football league would look like. Neither would have been passion projects I would have chosen for my preteens, but they were excited to learn and create, so that’s all that mattered.

Whatever school looks like for your children this fall, time to explore their creative side should definitely be on their schedule!


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