Letting Your Kids Create, Even When You Don’t Want to


This morning at 6:17 a.m., the girl asked to paint.

Sometimes it’s hard even for me to muster the enthusiasm for creativity. But I know that it’s important, so we did it.

Make Your Life Easier Creating with kids when you don't want to

If you have a kid who wants to create at all hours, make it as easy as possible for you and for them.

If you have a dedicated art space, make it possible for your kids — if they’re old enough — to take care of themselves. The girl can get her own paper and brushes, but I’m still in charge of paint, so all I had to do to get her started was get a palette (aka a margarine tub lid) and give her some of the paint colors she wanted. Then it was back to the couch for me.

(She actually likes it when I give her space most of the time; then her painting can be “a surprise” for me.)

Make sure the floor and the table are always covered, too, and you don’t even have to worry when, as happened this morning, your kid drops her paintbrush on the floor.

kids creating
She had a great time painting, and I got a little early morning break.

Pro tip: Use a plastic tablecloth as a “rug” in your art area and you never have to worry what’s happening on the floor.

If you don’t have an art area, keep all the most commonly used stuff in one place, whether that’s a basket, a big plastic bin or a desk drawer the kids are free to access. Then they can get what they need while you’re still trying to wake up.

Try Not to Say No

april showers may flowers
Her finished painting. She says it’s a flower in a rain storm but the sun is shining on it.

It’s important not to say no if what they’re planning to do isn’t going to make a huge mess. And don’t let your being tired, uninspired or uninterested keep them from expressing their creativity.

It’s so important for kids to have that outlet for exploration and expression. It’s good for their brains and their motor skills. It helps them processes emotions and frustrations.

And if it can get you 10 minutes on the couch before you start a way-too-early day, so much the better.

How do you help your kids create when you just don’t feel like it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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