-by Abby Leese
In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown writes, “If we want to make meaning, we need to make art. Cook, write, draw, doodle, paint, scrapbook, take pictures, collage, knit, rebuild an engine, sculpt, dance, decorate, act, sing—it doesn’t matter. As long as we’re creating, we’re cultivating meaning.”
It is my experience as well that learning to make meaning by practicing making meaning is as important for a child as it is for an adult. The more comfortable we are with ourselves as makers, the more comfortable we can be with our role in contributing to the world around us.
Encouraging children to create and play in a safe, engaging space is one of my passions and one of the gifts I feel I can offer to my community. Providing children with children interesting art and play materials and giving them the freedom to explore yields incredible results in terms of the art a child makes and in terms of their everyday lives.
Art instructor, Meri Cherry says, “I think creativity at its core is all about making connections, either with ourselves, our ideas, or those around us. The very act of making allows for a different kind of freedom that can connect us to who we truly are.”
I too believe that we get in touch with our thoughts, our feelings, and gain a sense of self when even the youngest of us take time to create. We make meaning, learn to problem solve, and gain a sense of the beauty in the world when we make art.
The joy of creating art with children is about more than the product they create – it is about helping them find joy, confidence, and connection in the process of making something new.
I am an innovative thinker with a commitment to nurturing creative thinking with children. I have led Art wtih Kids at Dillsburg Farmers’ Market several Saturdays a Summer for four Summers. Beginning in 2019, I’ll be joining Om Baby to teach Budding Artists and other children’s art classes. I am the mother of a seven year old innovator. I am also the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Etters where I value creativity as a way to connect to other people, to ourselves, and to our faith.
You can connect with Abby on Instagram at @art_with_kids.