The body is the physical environment, the part of your home that can be experienced with the five physical senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. All of the environment’s physical characteristics are part of your home’s body—the space, furniture, colors, temperature, lighting, and so forth.
As you and your family look for ways to make the body of your home more creative, use the five senses as a guide. Begin by asking the following questions:
- What are all of the foods you might want to taste?
- What sounds give you energy?
- What scents help you relax?
- What could you put up on the walls that would make you happy?
- How might you make the house more colorful?
- How could you make a cozy spot?
- What are all of the materials you could play with?
Suggestions and Ideas for Nurturing the Creative Body of Your Home
- Intentionally include all the physical senses in your home life:
- Sight: colors, artwork, furniture, plants, lighting
- Hearing: music, sound effects, nature sounds, friendly voices
- Taste: new foods, taste adventures
- Smell: food, potpourri, scented candles, scratch-and-sniff paper, incense
- Touch: textures, interesting objects to touch, unique items to play with
- Change things up occasionally. Rearrange furniture, try new music with dinner, put up new and interesting images, eat dinner in an unusual spot, etc.
- As much as possible, make everyday living accessible to your child. Provide step stools, cleaning and cooking tools, kid-friendly things in lower cupboards, etc.
- Cook together. Cooking is magical: It involves teamwork, the stimulation of all five senses, creative thinking, and problem-solving—and it results in the creation of something wonderful (most of the time) to share with your family.
- Include your child when you’re thinking about ways to decorate or rearrange the house. Offer choices for how he can decorate his own room. This will help him feel connected to the physical space in your home.
- Use your family’s artwork and creations in decorating.
- Go outside often. Taking the time to go outside can be a tremendous gift to give yourself and your family. There are many benefits of making a commitment to family outdoor time, including physical exercise; a deeper appreciation for nature and your community; and new opportunities for exploration, discovery, and family fun. Don’t wait for good weather to go outside. Invest in good outdoor clothing, such as rain boots, snow pants, and mud clothes, to provide the comfort needed to enjoy being outside in all types of weather.
- Create a special secluded spot for your child, a place where she can be alone, play, think, or imagine. This spot could be a corner, tent, nook, room, closet, cupboard, or even a big brown box. Include him when you create this space. Make it comfortable: Use pillows, interesting objects, images, books, etc. A secret space is great fun and gives your child a free space to exercise her creativity.
- Make a variety of materials accessible for your child to use freely. Provide the basics, such as paper, crayons, (safety) scissors, glue, glitter, and so forth, and also materials that he could use in a variety of different ways, such as string, cotton balls, fabric, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, tape, boxes, items that can be recycled, etc. Children have the ability to see materials in a less restrictive way than adults do. As adults, we know that tape is used to stick things together. Allowing a child free access to tape, for instance, will change your view of the purpose of tape.
*The section was modified from the book, My Sandwich is a Spaceship: Creative Thinking for Parents and Young Children