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?

I Love to See the Temple

Aurora and Cassandra at the Salt Lake Temple

Aurora and Cassandra in the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple


Last week my granddaughters Aurora and Cassandra went to the wedding of their mother’s cousin Alyse. This photograph was taken in the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple while Alyse and Adam were getting their pictures taken.

1 I love to see the temple.
I’m going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

2 I love to see the temple.
I’ll go inside someday.
I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
I’ll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
A fam’ly is forever.

Photo Credit

“A Place of Love and Beauty” by Adashot.me

Song

“I Love to See the Temple” #95 Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry.
Rickety signature

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
Rickety signature

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.

Rickety signature

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

.

.

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

.

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.

Rickety signature

Sledding Near Miss

Sarah, Bryson, and Aurora ready to sled

Sarah, Bryson, and Aurora ready to sled

There was snow on the ground so Adelaide, Sarah, the grandchildren, Jill, and I went sledding. We picked a very small hill for the grandchildren and took our cameras. Click on the images to enlarge. The videos are usually not visible in a feed reader. In the screencap below I have circled a girl in pink at the bottom of the hill. Keep your eye on her when you play the accompanying video of Bryson and I sledding.

Sledding near miss

Sledding near miss

 
 
Adelaide took the photograph below as we narrowly missed the little girl in pink. You can see how close we came. I still had the camera rolling.

Near miss, different angle

The near miss, taken from a different angle

Aurora in the snow

Aurora in the snow

Bryson with a snowball

Bryson with a snowball

Cassandra

Cassandra

Adelaide, Aurora, and Cassandra sledding

Adelaide, Aurora, and Cassandra sledding

Sarah and Bryson sledding

Sarah and Bryson sledding

Rickety signature

How to Build a Snowman in 3 Steps

This is for today’s youth that can’t build anything without first looking it up on the Internet.

  1. Roll large, medium, and small snowballs.
  2. Stack vertically.
  3. Add eyes, nose, and mouth.




A Simple Snowman
Rickety signature.

Grandpa Gets a Train Set

Cassandra supervises the train schedule

Great shades of Lilliput: Cassandra supervises the train schedule

For Christmas I was given a train set by my wife. I suspect she got the idea from me mentioning that it was time I introduced Bryson to electric trains. On first seeing the train, Bryson was really excited. But first I had to bring in the groceries. So he waited patiently. Later Aurora came to visit and was just as impressed as Bryson. They both had turns controlling the locomotive, although Aurora, being younger, grabbed at a freight car while the train was moving and sent it plunging 200 H0 feet to the kitchen floor.



Bryson and Aurura admire the train set

It is serious business driving a train

You know, you just have to make sure your grandchildren are well trained and off track.
Rickety signature.

No Bears At The Zoo

Rocky Shores at Hogle Zoo

Rocky Shores will open Spring of 2012

We discovered at our last visit to Hogle Zoo that Tuff, Cubby, and Dale had been moved to the Oregon Zoo. Construction is proceeding on the Rocky Shores Exhibit, an extensive multi-animal habitat featuring polar bears, sea lions, seals and possibly other bears. According to Hogle Zoo:

Guests will experience unprecedented environmental immersion through realistic, cutting-edge habitat design. Educational information about the animals what they eat, their behaviors and instincts, and their future survival will be presented through interactive technology and innovative educational programs, adaptable for Zoo and classroom use.

Rocky Shores will be the largest exhibit ever created at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, and is a major step in its transformation to a 21st century zoo. (Hogle Zoo)

Rocky Shores construction

On our visit to the zoo on Wednesday Aurora and Bryson also saw the animals, rode the train, and clambered in the playground.

Zuri with mother

Zuri the baby elephant

Aurora encounters the Aldabra Tortoise

The shells of the Aldabra Tortoise are not very hard. Giant tortoises are slow moving, non-aggressive animals. Most of their time is spent foraging. Although the tortoises are primarily vegetarians, they will eat decaying animal matter. Paths to and from their favorite feeding and drinking areas are scraped into the soil by the massive shells. These tortoises can weigh up to 550 lbs. and shells up to 55 inches long. They live up to 200 years.

Bryson

Aurora

Splashing water

Train ride

Watch the video and see how intent Bryson is as he rides the train.



Rickety signature.