Pinterest moms, we all know one or two in our circle of friends, right? They are able to effortlessly make a school lunch look like a work of art, and they know every stain-removing trick in the book. These women are creative ninjas, and yes, I must admit I wish I was more like them. They make creativity look like child’s play!
It’s 9 o’clock and the house is relatively quiet – finally. I am sitting at our kitchen table, the one we no longer use for meals because of the constant clutter of school books, LEGO and DUPLO. The table has become the place where our family gathers for craft projects and LEGO building.
I am scrolling through my Pinterest newsfeed, wondering why I am not as creative as “ALL THE MOMS” on Pinterest. One mom created an entire nativity scene out of toilet paper rolls and q-tips. Instead I would have cleaned the eight little dirty boy ears that wander around our house, and yelled at someone for not switching out the toilet paper when the roll was empty – but that’s just me.
Then it dawned on me, we put so much emphasis on developing creativity in our kids. We encourage free play, unstructured craft time and open ended toys, but what about us, the parents?! Why don’t we start to focus on our own “thinking outside the box” skills?
A recent study conducted by LEGO Systems, Inc. found that 88% of Americans value creativity as great personality trait, while only 25% of Americans consider themselves creative.
The innocent creativity we had as children is slowly forgotten or masked by self-consciousness as we age. All of a sudden we worry that our scrapbook page looks helpless next to the crafty mom’s down the street. She managed to spell her child’s name in dried flowers and rice – while you used a sharpie and felt proud.
I am not aiming to whittle an intricate flower out of my child’s cheese stick, but I would like to feel more confident when I create and when I have a new relatively-creative idea.
LEGO joined forces with a group of improv artists called The Upright Citizens Brigade. Together they created this awesome YouTube video and wonderful tips to help improve creativity and on-your-feet-thinking skills.
Over the past few weeks, since I read their tips, I have made an effort to play more, care less about the outcome, experiment and explore with LEGO. Most of the results have not been blog-worthy. But… I am learning to let go of my insecurities, and who knows where this can lead.
Check out the video and their tips. And please, remember one thing, YOU are already a PINTEREST-MOM if you have a Pinterest account! Go create and share your creativity with the world… I am doing it, so can you!
LEGO Building Tips
- Warm up to building. Building can be satisfying and fun even if it’s simple.
- Try a tower-building exercise to get your creative juices flowing. Take a pile of bricks and build a tower of any height or width – your only constraints are to start and end with your favorite color.
- Why? Building is intuitive. A sure-fire way to unlock your creativity is to just start clicking bricks together. Giving yourself a simple exercise with one or two guidelines is an easy way to get started.
- Build your world.
- Look around right now. Are you in the kitchen? Outside on the porch? In your family room?
- Focus on a favorite object and try and build it.
- Don’t dwell on the details just focus on the general shape or color and add one distinguishing detail.
- The bricks tell a story. Ask yourself a question and build the answer.
- Start with something simple like, “What’s my favorite day of the week?” and then build what Thursday looks like to you.
- Share the story out loud even if you’re by yourself. Why? The act of snapping bricks together helps us come to decisions and formulate ideas faster and more clearly.
- You’ll find if you set out to build an answer to a question that the building flows easily and you’ll amaze yourself with your skills and insights.
- Yes And. Think of what’s great about an idea before you think about why it won’t work.
- It feels really fun to have your ideas supported!
- Try planning a party together, but you have to say “Yes And” to every idea, no matter how bad it sounds at first.
- Jump In, Don’t Judge.
- Things don’t need to be perfect, sometimes ideas you end up scrapping can help get the ball rolling!
- Think of an intentionally bad idea for a product, and then work together to come up with a great commercial for it.
- There Are No Mistakes. No need to be discouraged when things don’t go according to plan.
- Listen and stay calm.
- Problems are often opportunities to be creative.
- Try to tell a story together, only one word at a time: you won’t be able to plan, so focus just on listening!