Galileo Founder & CEO, Glen Tripp
At Galileo, we know that physical space is a key component of cultivating creativity—we go to great lengths every summer to transform traditional school classrooms into buzzing hives of innovation. One thing you can do to help bring out your child’s inner artist is make a special spot in your home just for creating. It can be in the garage, in the kitchen, in a bedroom or on the back porch. It can be a permanent place or something you set up once a week. While it can take lots of forms, here are a few things to consider:
- Start with your surface. Use a table big enough for a couple of people to sit at, or for one person to really spread out on. Something that can get painted on and scratched up is ideal, though you can always use a drop cloth or plastic cover if needed. However you do it, make sure there’s freedom to get messy. Fear of making a mess stops creativity in its tracks.
- Stock with abundant materials. Fear of “messing up” a sheet of paper is a major inhibitor to creativity. Have plenty of different kinds of paper, balsa wood, popsicle sticks and other materials to create opportunity for revision. At our house we like to keep a big box of recyclables and random plastic things that were headed for the trash. Bottles, fruit baskets and cardboard all make great canvasses.
- Outfit with art supplies. I like having an assortment of brushes, washable tempera paint, crayons, colored pencils, markers, modeling clay, scissors, tape of various colors and a low-temperature glue gun on hand. The hot glue gun is one of the best inventions anywhere. First graders on up can learn to handle one confidently.
- Let the good times roll. Seriously. Put an old CD player or radio in the space so your child can listen to a variety of music as he or she creates.
- Honor the art. Create a wall in the area where your child can hang up the things he or she wants to display. You can even have a “Marvelous Mistakes” area that celebrates projects that didn’t turn out as planned. After all, embracing failure is a crucial part of becoming an innovator. Add an inspirational quote or two, and you’re ready to go.
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