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.

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?

Update

23 July 2017 — Changed the author’s image and removed a dead links.

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
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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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Father Christmas In Kaysville

Father Christmas visiting

Father Christmas visiting the grandchildren

Father Christmas came to visit
My grandchildren this year.
But when he loudly Ho Ho Hoed
They refused to go near.
So Father Christmas skillfully
Made candy canes appear.
And with this very tasty treat
He overcame their fear.
Jill and grandchildren with Father Christmas

Jill holding Bryson and Aurora

Bryson with Father Christmas

Bryson and Santa

 
Photo Credit: Bryson and Santa courtesy of Jill
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Dinosaurs at Hogle Zoo

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Yesterday’s visit to Hogle Zoo with Jill, Adelaide, and my grandchildren found us encountering dinosaurs. Their heads and necks moved and they made noises so as to appear more life-like. The Dilophosaurus even spit water out of its mouth which scared my granddaughter Aurora and quite surprised me just as I was about to take its photograph.

The dinosaurs are presented in alphabetical order. If you click on the photographs, they will either show a larger version of the same photograph or a different shot of the same dinosaur.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus (different lizard) is the state fossil of Utah. The powerful skull of Allosaurus was a perfect meat-eating machine. The jaws were large and massive, with serrated teeth for cutting meat. The skull was composed of separated pieces that could be disjointed allowing him to swallow enormous chunks of meat whole. Allosaurus constantly grew, shed and replaced it teeth, some of which averaged three or four inches in length.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus (double-crested lizard) had colorful crests that could have been used to attract mates. In the movie Jurassic Park, Dilophosaurus paralyzed its prey by spitting blinding venom in the eyes. There is no evidence of this but it does make for a good story.

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus with baby. They spit blinding venom in our eyes that felt a little like water.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus (sharp-point lizard) had plates along the low back tail that most likely served a defensive function. The tail had two pairs of sharp, two-foot spikes that were probably used for lashing out against predators. The plates may have had blood flowing through them to help heat and cool the dinosaur’s body.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus (great lizard) had curved teeth with a serrated edge and strong claws on each toe and finger. The curved claws were designed for seizing and holding prey, while the jaws were the main killing tool. Megalosaurus was the first dinosaur to be discovered, in England in 1676.

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus (crested lizard) had a hollow head-crest that allowed it to make a sound like a trombone. The noise may have been used to “talk” to the rest of the herd, warning them about approaching predators.

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus (horned nose) is characterized by its large size, an herbivorous diet, large horns, and a thick protective skin. The Rhinosaurus can exceed 7,700 pounds in weight and have a head and body length of 15 feet. They are extremely nearsighted; making the Rhinosaurus dangerous and unpredictable, and likely to charge unfamiliar sounds and smells.

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus. This one looked the most life-like

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus (spiked lizard) used its horns for defense and could charge like a rhino to protect itself. But because its frill was not solid bone and was easily punctured, some researchers theorize that it may have been able to flush the frill with blood creating eyespots to scare predators away.

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus and baby

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex (tyrant lizard king) was one of the largest animal predators. With a 5-foot-long head, 8-inch long teeth and a bite three times stronger than a lion’s, it could eat 200 pounds of meat in one bite. The little arms were extremely strong for holding on to struggling prey. It had a keen sense of smell, bone-crushing bites, and super speed.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

 

Notes and News

  • Not shown here but on display at Hogle Zoo: Coelophysis, Suchmimus, and Brachiosaurus.
  • Dinosaur details are from onsite information displays.
  • At 1 pm we were fortunate to experience first-hand feeding time at the zoo.
  • An extensive multi-animal habitat, called Rocky Shores, featuring polar bears, sea lions, seals and brown bears will open in the Spring of 2012.

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Model Railroad Festival

At the model railroad festival

One of the several rooms with layouts at the Ogden Union Station


Today we visited the Ogden Union Station to attend The Hostlers Model Railroad 2011 Festival. There were HO, N, G, O and S scale layouts in several rooms. During the three day show over 8,000 people will visit (it seemed like all of them were there right at the time we arrived).

The Hostlers Model Railroad Club was founded in February 1988 in Ogden and has now grown to over 180 members.

We headed straight for the model railroad layouts. There was a lot of them to see.

Watching the trains

Watching the trains: Bryson, Sarah, Adelaide, Cassandra, Jill, and Aurora


Lego display

There was even a large Lego Layout

Watching Trains

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Climbing on Trains

At the Union Station are locomotives that were designed to pull large trains over steep Western terrain. The 833 steam engine (at left in the photo below) is a Union Pacific Northern. This 4-8-4 saw both freight and passenger service between Utah and Wyoming. Also featured is a restored Red Cross Hospital Car, Railroad Post Office Car and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Cauldron Car.

Ogden railyard

The Ogden railyard has trains that you can climb on


Inside the steam engine

Here is what it looks like on board a steam engine


Union Station train

They'll let anybody drive a train

Riding a Train

It is fun watching the model trains and climbing on some old full-size trains. But there is nothing like a ride in a train.

Aboard the train

All aboard the train


Riding in the train

Riding in the train even if it is just around in circles

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The Long Train Movie

If you don’t have a movie for the evening then perhaps you could try this video. It doesn’t have much of a plot but there is one exciting part where one of the guard posts is knocked over. You can then watch it being put back in place. This video can also be used in place of a sleeping pill — no prescription needed. They way it works is to count the rail cars instead of sheep.

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