Raising a Creative Child

Ada
My guest writer today is Ada, a stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious preschoolers. Ada enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and reading when she’s not playing Mommy and blogging about it at Ada Shot Me.

Creativity is used every day, in every aspect of our lives. When we think of creativity, we usually think of it in the context of art, but according to Wikipedia, creativity is “the phenomenon whereby a person creates something new (a product, a solution, a work of art, a novel, a joke, etc.) that has some kind of value.”

What does this mean to me? It means that if I want to raise a child who can solve her own problems, she needs to be creative. I feel that creativity is a necessary component of a child’s education, but how do we raise a creative child?

Foster Exploration

In the dryer - fostering exploratioSome children may seem to be born more creative than others; however, their creative tendencies are likely due to an environment that is open to creative expression, rather than stifling the child’s explorations.

In our home, we foster an atmosphere of stimulation. If my three-year-old wants to color the grass pink, because it’s her favorite color, I don’t say, “grass is green, not pink.” This would stifle her creative exploration.

And instead of having a long list of items within reach that they can’t touch, we set out items that they can touch, feel, sense – in essence, explore.

Fun in Exercise

Fun in exerciseJust as a child needs to exercise her muscles to help them grow, creative “muscles” need stretching and exercising.

Exercising our muscles can either be a grueling, hard and painful experience or a fun and enjoyable experience.

Likewise, exercising our child’s mind can either be tedious or joyful.

Have fun with your child – play games that will provoke thought and imagination, let them explore, or give them a bunch of objects and just let them create.

Reading, Writing, and a Rhythm

Several studies have indicated that reading to children before preschool-aged will help them do well in all facets of formal education, as well as helping them to have basic speech skills.

The other night my 3-year-old came up to me and said, “Mommy, I’m not feeling well. I can’t eat my dinner.” Really she just wanted dessert, but I was impressed with her proper use of grammar, her sentence structure, as well as her solution.

Reading writing and a rhythmWhen reading with a child, try the following:

  • Ask questions. “Where’s the bird?”, “What is that man doing?”, or “What is going to happen next?”
  • Let the child fill in the blanks. “Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water ______.” (Pause and let the child say “spout”.)
  • Let them “read” to you. Even if the child can’t read words, they can make up their own story using the pictures. You’d be amazed with how much of the story they pick up from listening to you read it to them.
  • Have toddlers and preschoolers act out the story or draw it.

What are some other ways to promote creativity in our children?

Ron Paul Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ron Paul Quick'n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ron Paul Quick'n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells


Since receiving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook, Adelaide has made Oreo Cake, Original Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Quick’n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells. If you have the cookbook, the recipe is found on page 5.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Stuffed Pasta ShellsI halved the recipe, and still had half of them left over. They were really rich and filling. I paired it with breadsticks and a salad, and it made for a fairly quick and delicious dinner.

I especially liked the part in the recipe that gave directions for making this as a freezer meal. I think I’ll freeze half of them the next time I make it.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Oreo Cake

Ron Paul Oreo Cake

Ron Paul Oreo Cake


Since giving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide, she has made Original Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Oreo Cake. If you have the cookbook, the recipe for Oreo Cake is found on page 1.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Oreo Cake ready to serveI made the Oreo Cake for the treat for Family Home Evening. I actually halved the recipe because I only had one container of Cool Whip, then I divided that in half to take over with dinner to a neighbor who just had a baby. So I ultimately made a quarter of the recipe for us. It was very tasty, reminding me of mud pie. It was a fun change from just plain pudding, and was the perfect size for our small family.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Cookies

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies coming out of the oven


Since giving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide, she has made Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream the following ingredients:
1 cup Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in 1 tbsp. hot water and mix with:
2¼ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 large bag chocolate chips

Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Chocolate Chip CookiesI made the cookies a few nights ago. I didn’t add nuts, and I only put one regular sized bag of chocolate chips (opposed to the large bag it calls for), but they seemed to turn out rather well. The recipe made 4 dozen large cookies, and we ate 2 dozen that night, another dozen yesterday, and I sent the last dozen with Steven to work today. Overall, I think they were a big hit.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Orange Rolls

Ron Paul Orange Rolls

Ron Paul Orange Rolls


I gave a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide. She soon made Banana Nut Bread from page 5 and now she has cooked up Ron Paul Orange Rolls from page 20.

Adelaide says:

I’ll send orange rolls home with Jill for you to try. I made them last night and refrigerated them overnight so we could have hot rolls for breakfast. I used a cookie sheet instead of a 9×13 pan, and some of them burnt on the bottom (the filling spilled out, which maybe doesn’t happen with the pan?) So I’ll have to try it again using two 9×13 pans to see if they turn out better, but they still tasted great!

You could easily half the recipe for only a dozen rolls. Also a package of active dry yeast is equivalent to 2 tsp (in case you use a jar of yeast, like I do.)

I ate three of the rolls and they were mighty delicious. Adelaide, you should have sent over a whole plateful.

I gave out the recipe for the Banana Nut Bread but this time get the Cookbook and support the Ron Paul Campaign.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread


 
After a small donation last week to the Ron Paul Campaign I received three copies of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook. I gave one of the cookbooks to Adelaide and she made Banana Nut Bread, with a slight change of ingredients:

What I did different: I didn’t use nuts, as we didn’t have any pecans, which is what I like using in banana nut bread. Also, I used 2 mini loaf pans instead of a regular sized loaf pan, but still cooked it for 45 minutes.

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

½ cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe mashed bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix and bake the ingredients at 350° for 45 minutes.

So how did it taste? Adelaide said:

Oh, and it was really good. We ate one of the loaves yesterday (which is when I baked it) and have devoured most of the second one today.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Motor Trend Auto Show

On Monday I stopped by Motor Trend’s Auto Show in Sandy. My sons Paul and Jake wanted to see it so I went along. In the time I was there, I wasn’t approached once by any salespeople (a positive) and I was able to check out a lot of new autos. I was interested in Jeeps and any alternative fuel vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf was interesting but with a 100 mile range it didn’t work for me. I already own a natural gas vehicle with a 200 mile range which is the minimum for me. The Ford Focus Electric was on display and looks to be similar in performance to the Leaf.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler on obstacle course

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf charging port

Nissan Leaf dashboard

Ford Focus Electric
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Building a Giant Snowman

I thought it would never snow but overnight we got several inches in Kaysville. Out came the snowman builders to construct a giant snowman. Just build him like a regular snowman but bigger. You may need some help to hoist his head so pay attention to the photographs that follow.

Pass the snow

1. Pass the snow

Compact the snow

2. Compact the snow

Lift his head

3. Lift his head

Secure his head

4. Secure his head

How it is done

5. Use a step ladder

Give him a mouth

6. Give him a mouth

The engineers

The engineers. Dan, Rachel, and Jake

Later in the day our snowman got a nose but lost his buttons.
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Graduate Nerf Wars

Nerf Wars lineup

A friendly photograph before we started shooting each other

 
Rachel graduated with her Bachelors degree in Child & Family Studies and Derek with his M.B.A. To celebrate we ate out, waged Nerf War, and finished with cake. So on Wednesday it was off to Cafe Rio and then to Jake and Rachel’s basement.

We divided into two teams with total annihilation of the opposing team the goal. A player was considered killed when he or she was hit in the head with a Nerf bullet. Each team had LED rings in their team color for identification.

I spent most of my time as a Nerf War correspondent, taking photographs on the front lines. Yes, it was a war out there…

Nerf Wars - Adelaide

Adelaide

Nerf Wars - Aurora

Aurora

Nerf Wars - Dan

Dan

Nerf Wars - Derek

Derek

Nerf Wars - Jake

Jake

Nerf Wars - Jill

Jill

Nerf Wars - Megan

Megan

Nerf Wars - Paul

Paul

Nerf Wars - Rachel

Rachel

Nerf Wars - Steven

Steven

Graduates Rachel and Derek

In the end we all ate a Congratulations Grads cake


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