Christmas is a great time to develop creative skills. A time for families, especially those home educating, to extend this part of education.

Parents sometimes ask if creative work is really educational. It is in that it develops essential mental and practical skills which can be transferred to other educational tasks and an education that lacks creative development is not complete. (See this post for more on the subject).

Our creative industries are essential to world growth; when you think about it, every piece of equipment or technology you’ve ever used has been created by someone. (Article here on creative education by the artist Bob and Roberta Smith) Those with innovative ideas are those who make the world progress. So Arts subjects should not be dismissed and Christmas is an excellent time to extend creative thinking. Creative thinking makes you resourceful – a useful skill in education and challenging economic times!

Here are a few suggestions for creative resourcefulness:

  • Rather than buy all materials for creative projects, be resourceful with what you have. Many craft shops have appealing packets of ready prepared kits, but it stretches the mental aptitude far more to start from scratch and find ways to use what’s to hand, reusing and recycling things around the home.
  • Creative artwork isn’t tidy, uniform, symmetrical or kit-perfect. It is instead diverse, unique and sometimes scrappy – so don’t aim for perfection, aim for creation.
  • Try this rule; use your imagination more than your wallet. This saves the planet, by reusing materials, as well as the pennies.
  • There are many fab websites where you can source ideas. But remember that you don’t have to stick to the idea there; use them as a trigger to create something of your own.
  • Wrapping paper and cards although beautiful create enormous amounts of waste in production and disposal. You can devise your own with any paper/card you already have (even newspaper) by doing veg or potato printing on it or decorating it in other ways. We once used the pages of an old book, bought at a charity for 50p, taped together.
  • There may be old books in your house you no longer use to get creative with for cards, tags, paper, origami gift boxes. Use pictures and print on text just as well as blank pages.
  • The natural world provides many resources for decorations from twigs, a broken branch or seed heads to leaves. I saw some curled up leaves with glittered edges strung up in a cafe recently. Salt dough is also great for making decorations.
  • Use rag strips, old ribbon, string, raffia, strips of paper, threads and cottons you come across for tying.
  • Don’t forget to collate old wrapping, ribbon and card from this year – storing it with the decorations – so you can use them next. This does the planet an enormous favour and makes Christmas creative rather than pollutive. Helps the budget too!




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