The other day I asked some of my favorite bloggers to share their thoughts and experiences on connecting through creativity (you’ll definitely want to read that post on The Amazing Power of Creative Connection!) as well as their favorite activities for connecting in this way with their families.
Today I’m sharing the many wonderful creative activities they shared as their favorites for fostering connection.
These are not just ART activities, in case you are wondering.
These creative activities include cooking together (including inventing recipes!), playing games together, exploring science together, and yes, making art together. Which we’ll start with, just ’cause I’m me.
Rebecca Cooper, Simple as That
“Being creative together is one way I love to connect with my kids. Meaningful conversations and laughter seem to come about naturally when we sit down to color, paint or craft. I know that when my kids are grown, some of my favorite memories will be of the times we sat at the kitchen table crafting or snuggled up on the couch to color together. We love doing watercolor painting together—so easy and not a lot of mess.” – Rebecca
Favorite Creative Activity :: Watercolor Art Lesson for Kids
Bar Rucci, Art Bar
Author of Art Workshop for Children
“Now that my children are older (17, 14, and 10), our favorite way to connect creatively as a family is through making signs. We are super duper sign making pros. We make birthday signs, welcome home signs, get better soon signs, we missed you signs. To start, we usually roll out some paper all along the art table, then get to work with the lettering. Once we’ve penciled in the words, we trace with Sharpie, then we paint with watercolor.
My children love that nothing has to be perfect. In fact, the more the paint spills out of the lines, the better. Sometimes we’ll even splatter some gold paint on top for a finishing touch. I think we might go into the handmade sign making biz. ;)” – Bar
Favorite Creative Activity :: DIY Thanksgiving Banner
Elise Blaha Cripe, Elise Gets Crafty Podcast
Creator of the Get to Work Book
“The biggest way that my family connects through creativity is by drawing and painting at the dining table. We keep tons of supplies (markers, crayons, paint, brushes, paper) on the bottom shelf of the pantry so the girls can get into it themselves and I never say “no” to art time. :)” – Elise
To Read :: Our Favorite Kiddo Art Supplies
Megan Schiller, The Art Pantry
“One of my favorite ways of connecting with my kids through creativity is to do an ongoing collaborative art project, where we work together on one process-based project over a period of time.” – Megan
Favorite Creative Activity :: Layered Canvas Family Project
Meri Cherry, Meri Cherry
“I love when an idea comes to life that we can all take part in organically. It happens when we’re open and willing to participate in the unknown and take a chance on just creating together. Those are my favorite moments.” – Meri
To Read :: Family Process Art
“I like to keep things as easy and low mess as possible most of the time, so drawing is probably our favourite creative activity to do together. There are so many fun drawing activities you can do together, and it’s a great way to express yourself. When my kids were little a giant piece of paper and a tub of crayons was our favourite activity.
Now that my kids are getting older, we like draw part of a picture and then leave it on someone’s pillow with a little note for them to add something and then pass it on. Even when life is crazy busy and I have kids and teenagers going in every direction, I can always find a quiet moment to leave a drawing on a pillow.” – Kate
To Read :: 20+ Drawing Ideas and Activities
Jeanette Nyberg, Art for Kids and Robots
Author of Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids
“Our favorite creative activity would be to pull paper and markers out and come up with silly, easy drawing projects like this one.” – Jeanette
Favorite Creative Activity :: Surprise Ferocious Beings Paper Project
Gina Vide, Willowday
“We love nature walks or travels followed by a creative project inspired by the nature items we find. This is such a good, good project that we return to it time and time again.” – Gina
Favorite Creative Activity :: Tracing Paper Leaf Cards and Art
Agnes Hsu, hello, Wonderful
Author of My Color is Rainbow
“I love connecting with my kids creatively by drawing out their natural interests. We sometimes turn these interests into “big projects” so we can feel challenged creatively. It’s also nice to work on a “theme” for each child so they can learn and grow through a creative process and realize it can have an impact on just not themselves but others. The world is a big place and sharing your creativity makes it a wonderful playground to inspire and be inspired!
A great example of that is my daughter’s Rainbow Rock Project. It started out with her love of drawing rainbows and spread into a kindness platform for helping a worthy cause chosen by my daughter (homelessness). It’s also inspired a movement across the world for other children to spread kindness in a simple way. By sharing her creativity, my daughter has built confidence and compassion and our family has bonded over the project.” – Agnes
Favorite Creative Activity :: Spread Kindness Through The Rainbow Rock Project
Anna Ranson, The Imagination Tree
Asia Citro, Fun at Home with Kids
Author of 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, The Curious Kid’s Science Book, A Little Bit of Dirt, and the Zoey and Sassafras series
“My family’s favorite way of connecting is through a large scale art project. Sometimes it’s more abstract, but often either my husband or myself will draw something and all of us will gather around to color it in.” – Asia
To Read :: 50 Easy Process Art Activities for Kids
Rachelle Doorley, TinkerLab
Author of TinkerLab: A Hands On Guide for Little Inventors
“Inventing recipes together is one of our favorite ways to connect creatively. Thinking of the kitchen as a laboratory to test new ideas can instill children with confidence to invent their own solutions to a problem, encourage independent thinking and problem skills, and find their way around a kitchen.” – Rachelle
To Read :: How to Invent a Recipe with Kids
Rachel Macy Stafford, Hands Free Mama
Author of Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today
“My children and I love to bake together and do so on a regular basis. This tradition started when my older daughter was two-years-old and she helped make her own birthday cake. I was amazed at how much she could do to help, and before we knew it, she was even cracking eggs!
Our baking tradition has evolved into our family’s favorite way to express kindness and appreciation to people in our lives. Every holiday, we make goodies to package up and give to others as a way of expressing appreciation. We include people inside our inner circle of family and friends, but we also strive to include people who provide services in our lives like the trash collectors and mail carrier.
I see this as an important tradition because it provides a way of expressing gratitude at a concrete level that my kids can easily grasp and have a part in creating. In addition, they have witnessed the profound impact simple acts of kindness can have on someone’s life. I am delighted to see my daughters (now ten and thirteen) implementing this “sweet” gratitude practice for others without any prompting (or help) from me. Now I just get to be the taste-tester!” – Rachel
Ana Dziengel, Babble Dabble Do
Contributor, Steam Kids
“Our very favorite activities EVER are Wizard’s Brew and oobleck. Both are always a hit with my kids and make for lots of giggles and family fun.” – Ana
Kristina Buskirk, Toddler Approved
“I have found as a family that we connect best through creative and colorful science activities. I never enjoyed science as a kid and over the past few years as I’ve begun to explore it more I’ve found that engaging with new-to-me materials and experimenting has really been an incredible bonding experience for me and my kids.
We especially love these simple toddler science activities. While we squirt vinegar or build ramps we have an amazing time working together, talking about things we see, and using our imaginations to create.“ – Kristina
To Read :: 7 Favorite Toddler Science Activities
Erica, What Do We Do All Day?
“Our favorite way to connect creatively is making and playing traditional games from around the world. We like to play around with inventing rules and trying new strategies for games that we play. People might not immediately think of games as an artistic or creative endeavor but it’s amazing the way creative thinking can turn something that seems rigid (game rules) into an experiment in innovation.” – Erica
Leslie, Pink Stripey Socks
“We love making art and doing origami together. Our current passion is making paper planes.” – Leslie
“So often parents vilify screen time, but we love creating things with our kids on our iPhone. I think as long as moderate screen time serves a purpose (creating, connecting, learning), it can hold great value for children. Our favorite collaborative projects right now are creating stop motion videos. It requires story boarding, creativity, humor, and most of all patience. The final product is always a hoot.” – Zina
Favorite Creative Activity :: Stop Motion Animation for Kids
Jamie Reimer, Hands On As We Grow
“We’ve been doing a lot of sensory bags lately. I love them for their versatility—we can make then together and modify them to whatever my kids want to do.” – Jamie
Maggy Woodley, Red Ted Art
Author of Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids
“As my children get older (they are now 7 and 9 yrs old), I find the way we connect through creativity is evolving. When they were small, it would be about sitting down at the kitchen table and all working on a similar project.
Now, I find… the kids often have a blast finding a cardboard box and decorating it into something amazing. Sticking. Taping. Drawing and imagining. I love how they work on it together and play. When it comes to input from myself, we now often very much work one on one as the children develop their own interests. For example, my daughter LOVES to sew, whilst my son loves “on trend” DIYs like Pokemon or Fidget Spinners.
So for us, creativity has become very much about 1 on 1 relationships. Be the kids creating their cardboard box airplanes together or me working individually with one of the children.” – Maggy
Favorite Creative Activity :: Easy DIY Fidget Spinner
How about you? What are your favorite creative activities for connecting with your kids? Would you like to give one of these a try with them soon?
Want to learn more about how to use CONNECTION and CREATIVITY together as parenting tools? I have a powerful mini course on how connection and creative activities can work hand in hand to improve family life while fostering long-term creativity and self confidence. Click here to learn more.
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