A couple of weeks ago, E and Z made these two museums in the shelves of their bookcase:
The Rock Museum:
The Nature Museum (sometimes referred to as "The Wildlife Museum"):
They put these together while my parents were visiting and between working and entertaining guests and going sight-seeing, I didn't take the time to properly slow down and check out (and photograph) them until last weekend, although I did pay my six-cent entrance fee and go on a brief tour when they first opened.
I love how they came up with this and put it together completely on my own (I had actually been thinking about getting some divided shelves to hang on the walls to do something similar, but had not yet gotten around to it). Earlier in the summer, they had an ongoing yard sale, where they would take things out of the playhouse, put them on the picnic table and mark the price with chalk. I bought everything (to take to Goodwill) just to get the playhouse cleaned out. Last week, they took over a corner of the living room to make their own "homeschool" where they do math workbooks or draw or finger-knit or mold beeswax (god forbid they do their actual homework, though!!).
A few weeks ago it seemed like every blog I read referenced this booklet you can download that's full of fun creative stuff to do with kids, and I thought wouldn't that be fun, but we'd never have time to do any of it, and then I'd feel guilty, and I'm a terrible mother...you know how it goes. Then it occurred to me that my kids are super creative even without such a booklet glaring at me from a shelf. They build amazing Lego and block structures, and things out of cardboard, and finger-knit miles of "garling," and even bring the outdoors in. They have this elaborate, ongoing fantasy game (Tom Lighthouse's World) that makes its way into stories and drawings and Legos. M is on page 111 of his novel (which is a lot more pages of a novel than I've ever written, even if he is using 18 point font). I'm sure the booklet is great and would be fun if we had more time, and I may even buy it (it is, after all, only a few bucks), but I have decided there is no need to feel guilty about not engaging my kids in creativity enough. They do plenty of it on their own.
(For more on kids and creativity--and the coming creativity crisis--see my blog buddy Kristen's post)