So, I was reading around this weekend, and I linked into this blog/post:
On Oct. 1st earthchick set forth these questions:
How do you build a culture of creativity and imagination in the home? How do you resist convention? What do you think hinders imagination, and how do you deal with that? What rituals and rhythms do you think help nourish the artistic souls of children and families? ... Did your own parents do anything in particular to support your creative pursuits? What do you do to feed your own creative self? Where do you find inspiration for the creative life?
These questions have kept me thinking for a couple of days now - pretty good when I can't normally engage in a complete conversation! Take a look at the flickr group that she has started. Share your ideas here flickr group, or leave them here. It's a pretty important conversation, in my view.
So, what do we do in our house to help create a culture of creativity? Well, we do lots of things - my husband and I are both actors, writers, teachers, musicians, etc. But my very favorite thing to do is: THEME DAYS
Theme Days were born out of boredom - on my part. When I was lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom, I found myself with not quite enough to do (OK, so I am a little Type A). We started our tradition one very cold winter when Via was quite little. It gets really damned cold for a very long time in Minnesota. You've got to do something, or you loose your mind, or drink too much, or both... To save ourselves from the insanity that is winter, we pushed all of our furniture to the sides of the room, put on our bathing suits and the best summer music we could find, and voila', we had Beach Day!
That very first Theme Day has evolved throughout the years. Now, every so often, we have a conversation with the girls about what kinds of things would be good for theme days.
The usual things pop up:
Princess Day, Pink Day, Pink Princess Day...
Daddyman and I throw some that we'd like to share in the mix:
Football Day, Fantasy Football Day, Mommy-Spends-As-Much-Money-As-She-Wants-To-And-Doesn't-Tell-Daddy Day...
Those are sure fun.
We write down all of our ideas, and put them in a jar. Then, when we need to liven up/change the mood in our house, we go to the Theme Jar and pull out an idea.
The ones that work the very best are these:
Everyone Cries/Everyone Whines Day (lasts about 15 minutes until the chaos and trauma is over. For some reason, when Daddyman and I cry &/or whine, the Littles think it is Hi-larious! We don't wait until that one actually comes out of the jar. In fact, we may never even write that one down. Of course, it's getting trickier to pull this one over on The Littles as Via is now reading at an accelerated level.)
Share Everything Day (We bring this one out and flop it on the table when no one is sharing... it helps get the ball rolling, if you know what I mean.)
Opera Day. It's really hard to get bent out of shape when you have to sing everything that you want to say. That, and it's kind of fun to see the reactions that we get in Target.
I really, really love Opera Day. I love to hear all of The Little singing to each other.
Pass the green crayon.
Give me that book, please.
You are a stupid sister and I don't love you anymore. I never loved you anyway. No one in this house loves ME.
It tickles me when I hear Yaya sing - in true Opera Day style: I want more Cheerios. I want more Cheerios. Please, oh please, oh please, oh please. May I have more Chee-e-e-e-e-rios.
Now, if I can only teach them to sing it in Italian.
Voglio più Cheerios. Per favore, potrei avere più Cheerios?
If you try a Theme Day at home, let me know how it works out for you. I'd love to hear all about what you do to create the culture of creativity in your world.