Creative Writing

Poem Collaboration With My Daughter; Nurturing Creativity

Today, a random thought crossed my mind:

What if Lyla helped me write a poem?

She’s my talkative, hilarious three and a half year old. The other day I posted Just For Kicks And Giggles, full of funny quotes from my silly gal. She never ceases to crack me up, unless of course she’s throwing a tantrum or fighting over a toy with her brother… These things happen!

We role play all the time. I’m always forgetting who I am- Ryder from Paw Patrol, Jet from Super Wings, or any number of made up characters. So I figured she’d be stoked to write a poem with me. I nudged her along with questions and wrote her answers.

Here is the final product, which she titled “Georgia.”


deer is flying

to GA

to play with horses

lion is flying

to GA too

wings sparkly blue

the horses lick

get sparkles on their tongues

it is so much fun!

By Lyla!

Afterwards she said, “Lyla sended it to us, since we live on Earis (Earth).”

Were you more creative as a child? I know I was. I played with my Barbies and toys for hours on end. My brother and I played pirates in our tree house. I filled up stacks of sketchbooks with colored pencil drawings.

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso

Right?! Oh, Picasso, it’s so hard to hold onto that spirit of excitement.

I grew up during the Beanie Baby phase… Anyone else collect those as a child? I was a member of the club and everything. Man, that marketing scheme must have made millions. My book told me which ones were valuable or rare, which made me want those even more. I remember working hard to save my money ($40!) for a Peace Beanie Baby. Oh, goodness… We tried to sell a bin of Beanie Babies at a yard sale last year for 50 cents each, and not a single one sold. Bummer. That investment was a doozy!

As a kid, what I loved most about the Beanie Babies were their tags that included a name, birthday, and poem. To celebrate my little friends, I let them sleep on my pillow on the night of their birthday.

One time I thought it would be fun to create a carnival for them. I made a slide down my pillows and an obstacle course.

But the crowning glory of my Beanie Baby Carnival was the swing ride. I rigged up a bandanna attached to strings hanging from my ceiling fan. It was BRILLIANT.

Until I turned it on.

My already wobbly fan started thwomping loudly as it spun the “chosen” Beanie Babies around and around in a giant circle. I’m sure my eyes were big as saucers as I realized the ride was going south. I tried pulling the seahorse chain pull (genius move) to turn it off, but it only made the fan more insecure. After only a few rotations at full speed, the fan promptly fell out of the ceiling.

Yes, I was horrified. I guess I didn’t think to do safety inspections beforehand…

But it didn’t just fall out of the ceiling and call it quits, RIDE OVER. No, the fan continued to swing around by the WIRES!!! The only thing I knew to do at that point was scream. Five seconds of bloody murder screaming were enough to get my parents two stepping it up the stairs.

And then they probably just turned off the switch on the wall. Of course, I got a big safety talk and scolding, and I promised them I would never hang things from my fan again. The fan was reinserted into the ceiling, and it carried on as a wobbly, animal-less fan.

The End.

And I never made a carnival again.

Why? I became cautious. I steered clear of an idea that didn’t work out too well. I should have listened to Thomas Edison, but one failure was enough to make me call it quits on carnival ride engineering.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Edison

I’m not saying I would be better off if I had continued to make silly Beanie Baby carnival rides. I’m just saying that I bet that was one of many times where I moved on to something easier after a failure.

My daughter Lyla has shied away from drawing. I think it’s because she has in her mind the paintings and drawings I’ve done, causing the marks and lines she makes to frustrate her. When she was really little, we played a game on her magnadoodle where she would say a word she knew, like chicken, and I’d have ten seconds tops to draw it before she erased it. She thought it was hilarious.

But now she doesn’t show much interest in coloring when she’s at home. I have found that she likes to paint, though. I give her a blank canvas on my easel and a couple squirts of paint.  She loves swirling the colors together on the paint plate. Right now what she enjoys is the process. She goes at it for about 15 minutes, and then she’s done. The end result is usually a one color flat painting (unless we put tape on it to reveal a color underneath) since she mixes the colors together.

She was the same way with dancing. When she was two she would dance about ten seconds and then sit down and cry because she “couldn’t dance.” She compares. She sees what older people can do, people who have practiced their skill, and gets bummed that she can’t do that too. It nips her creativity in the bud. But, gosh, I DO THAT TOO. Comparing immediately makes you feel bad about your own abilities and ideas and keeps you from expanding.

I just watched a cool animated video called Alike. It demonstrates how a child’s creativity and enthusiasm for new things can be squashed under the rigid structure of school and honestly, grown ups. The dad in the film had all of the creativity sucked out of him every time he sat at his desk at work, but regained it when he was around his kid again. Finally, even the kid lost his creativity and conformed.

See, this post isn’t just about nurturing the creativity of your kids. What are you doing to nurture your own creativity? Are you doing anything that inspires or invigorates you?

As for me, I’ve been writing. First this blog, and then I started writing poetry. So fun!

My husband also got me a used upright piano for my birthday (eek!) because I wanted to learn how to play the piano. Two days ago, I had my first lesson. I’m so excited- I can do this! I’m going to do this new, beautiful thing! Even if I don’t ever become a concert pianist (which isn’t my goal), I think it will be a fun process that challenges my mind.

I’ve also been checking out a broad array of library books, from Blogging For Dummies to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (that was a cute one!) to Calm Energy.

My mom gave me a crochet book, so I want to learn how to crochet, too.

If I’m being honest, which I try to be on this blog, my creativity was seriously suppressed during my depression. And now I’m rebounding, if you will. So many possibilities! So many things I want to do!

Even if you don’t have the same story as me, you could be like the dad in Alike. Do you need to challenge your mind today? What can you do to think outside the box? Perhaps you need to get down at a kid’s level and do some seriously silly daydreaming. Or you can pretend you’re Ryder. Surely I’m not the only parent who’s dealt with the Paw Patrol craze?!

Anyways, those are my thoughts for the day.

Nurture that creativity no matter your age!

And have fun!

But maybe not this much fun.

4 thoughts on “Poem Collaboration With My Daughter; Nurturing Creativity”

  1. Haha, oh this post is full of joy and wonderful pieces of advice. I love the poem! It’s so true we try a little, and a lot of times, give up because we don’t see how progress can be made in time. What beautiful gifts you got! 🙂 The piano is lovely! I crochet, but only very simple patterns or stitches. I know single, double, and I know how to make a granny square. Currently, I’m making a lot of granny squares to sew them all together into one blanket. This will be the sixth blanket I’m working on. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!


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