A boy’s creativity is a wonderful thing. The imagination of a child’s mind is something we all envy. What happened and when did it happen that we no longer saw our backyard as a jungle or a paper towel roll as a telescope? A major leaf is turned in our lives at some point and we become “grown up”. Until the end of time kids will want to grow up and adults will tell them to stay young. I want to see little boys stay little, longer. Don’t you?
Without creativity, logic and perhaps cynicism will start to take over. I often wonder about the cause of “growing up”. Peter Pan definitely had it right. Let’s encourage our little boys to wonder, to make-believe, to dream, and never say never. Unless they’re headed to Neverland.
What activities are boys partaking in that could be limiting their creativity? Coloring books are something we all grew up with, but let’s take a look the overall concept of coloring books. They’re a wonderful tool for keeping a boy occupied when he needs to be sitting still and not playing with and taking off his tie..church, meetings, long car rides. Sometimes they work and the end result is that he sits still. But what are we doing to their brains with these coloring books?
The books are filled with outlines of publisher decided images. He gets frustrated when he doesn’t stay in the lines and his pictures look “messy”. He sees his older brother staying in the lines of the same image and he can compare his “skills” to someone else. The only creative license he has when coloring is what color to use. So he’s learning that there is a “right” way of coloring.
I by NO MEANS condemn completely coloring books, I do however want to point out the benefits of sketchbooks. A blank canvas says, “anything goes”. A boy is told “no” often enough. He’s learning and he needs to be told “no” sometimes, but think about the frustration of that. Creativity means “yes”. Creativeness is the foundation for kids play and imagination.
I want to see what he decides a dragon looks like. I want to see his design of the next cool roller coaster. I want to see his mind on paper. Coloring books have their place, but sketchbooks require creativity. Am I wrong? Do you think coloring books are better than sketchbooks? Do you think coloring books do not limit his creativity? I want to know what you think because I’m still mulling this one over. I loved my coloring books growing up, but when I was given a sketchbook I filled pages with a much larger variety of ideas and images. Today, I still sketch. It releases the brains frustrating mental blocks. Think with your pencil!