Monday, July 11, 2016

Kids Can Bead!

By Cindy Goldrick

It's summer and that means you will have kids or grandkids moaning that age-old refrain: "I'm boredddddd...." 

As a kid I learned quickly that if I uttered that phrase I'd be quickly dispatched to do yard work so I did my best to keep a low profile and keep my brain and my hands busy. Besides memories of hiding out, perched in a cool tree reading and eating a handful of raspberries from our bushes, my fondest summer memories are of using the scraps I could find to make clothes and furniture for my dolls and as jewellery gifts. Now I like to pay forward the gift of creativity the women in my life gave me as a child and teach kids how fun it is to design and make your own wearable art. 

As I'm writing this, my great niece is sitting on the couch sifting through her stash of beads she brought in anticipation of jewellery-making with me. Just wait til she sees what my stash looks like and her imagination opens up. She already learned yesterday, while helping us in our booth at the Lavender Festival, how to open and close jump rings (although how many start out using Tronex as their pliers is likely few) and she picked from our prepared "charms" to construct several necklaces. Here's one of her creations. 

So as she gets in a couple of episodes of Pokemon, I'm writing this blog because she's anxious to continue to play and learn. And I'm anxious to guide her on her creative journey. I love teaching eager and receptive kids. They are often more open and in touch with their creative soul and they definitely have fewer inhibitions. They apply their playful abandon to the process, an ability that many of us have lost as adults and one we need to get back in touch with. 

Kids see creativity as play, not as something that comes from divine inspiration or something that needs to be honed and mastered. We can learn so much from them if we observe them closely while we teach them everything we know about the hows and whys. 

So this summer, if you hear the refrain "I'm bored", just open your stash, your knowledge and your patience to them and guide each other through a creative journey that will be fun and productive. And it's never to early to start: simple stringing, colour and how to hold tools will help them with motor skills, pattern recognition, math and art skills. 

Do you have any memories of jewellery making as a kid, or teaching your kids, to share? Or even pictures of the results? Then share them below. Have a great summer and a creative, playful one too!

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