Part of being a maker of home means encouraging your family to be creative. I honestly think creativity is essential to everyone’s developmental process. It helps us to expand our problem solving skills and think outside of the box, all the while fulfilling our basic need to foster the unique person that we were created to be. Creativity doesn’t mean that you have to be good at “making” things, either. I like the definition that Dictionary.com has for “creativity.”
“The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.”
Our middle son Kaelan, who is 14 right now, is a hands on creative type. He’s a normal teenage boy who, like most teenage boys, likes play video games, hang out with buddies, ski, bike and play sports. But he’s also a thinker, often found daydreaming while processing his thoughts. He also likes to ask a lot of questions but rarely lets you answer and is already asking another question. He’s curious and inquisitive. I love it. This post is mainly about him and his creative endeavors.
When he was 12, he and his friend decided to build a Carpet Ball table. It’s a game that you play with billiard balls on an elevated table. Have you ever heard of it? One summer he went to a cool old church camp and they had one in the game room. It’s a pretty simple design. I’m sure he was eying it up at the camp trying to figure out how to make one. Well, a few years later he actually did. And, they built it all by themselves; power tools and all, with no directions. All the wood was leftover building materials from the construction of our house. The only thing that we bought was the carpet from Home Depot. Check out the pictures. Don’t mind the mess in the garage.
Aside from building things, sometimes he just likes to modify things….Like this little dirt bike that some friends of ours left at our house for the last few years… It’s the perfect cruise around the property, beginner bike… Slow and safe. I can’t tell you how much use this little bike gets. And, mostly by Kaelan. He likes to trick it out sometimes.
Just look at the size of those Elk Antlers!
Sometimes he takes the dog for a ride on the dirt bike track. Chooch, our little Chihuahua/poodle pound puppy loves to go for rides; whether it be in a car, on a motorcycle, scooter, lawn mower, quad or wheelbarrow… You name it, he wants to go for a ride on it! Kaelan contributes to the dog’s happiness by rigging up the bike with a milk crate basket. Chooch loves it!
A boy and his dog… Doesn’t get much cuter than that.
And, how about a little car dolly towing in the driveway. That’s me being towed by Kael’s buddy.
Here’s a couple of projects that Kael made from watching youtube video’s.
Butterfly knife made out of a street sign.
A shoebox projector for a cell phone made with a magnifying lens. The bottom image is a photo of the image on the wall in our dark bathroom… It’s much more impressive to see in person. His craftiness never ceases to amaze me.
A crossbow for matches made out of hair clips, thread, and popsicle sticks.
Below is a painting that he did on a piece of scrap wood when he was 11.
Recently, Kaelan and I took a jewelry class together. It was all about repurposing scrap metal into wearable art. The bracelets were made from copper tubing and the gold colored earrings were made from hammered drum cymbals.
Below is a photo of a bracelet that Kaelan made for me when he was 11 out of bottle caps that he burned with a torch and hammered flat. I still wear it all the time and get lots of compliments on it, too! He recently made this ring from copper in a class that he took to learn how to solder. The color and texture were a result of applying heat and flux.
And the last piece of jewelry that he made was this beautiful pair of earrings from a old tin tray that he cut and burnished.
Anyway, just wanted to share a little about this boy. I hope he always loves being creative and thinking outside the box. Also, I hope you let your kids run wild with their imaginations and encourage them to make messes and be creative problem solvers… Let them be different, and help them to embrace their uniqueness.