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Earthmerlin

Creatively Gifted

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I'm starting to believe my 8 year old is possibly creatively gifted. I've read a bit about this type of kid & she fits the bill. With the long summer coming up & no structured schedule planned (intentionally so--just travel, day trips, & interest-lead learning), I'm wondering what I can do as a parent to cultivate (& possibly funnel??) her intense need to create & imagine. She's already got an enriching home life with lots of open-ended toys, etc. (blocks, art supplies, journals, video camera, etc.). I feel like she needs a 'niche' or something (I don't know what...) or will putting it into a 'box' squelch the creativity itself? I obviously can talk to her directly but am not sure she can fully express her desires. Hmmm....? 

Does anyone have resource leads for parents with this type of child? I mean, something that goes more in-depth than a casual search on the internet?  If you have/had a creatively intense child, how'd you handle the situation at this age (8 yr old)? 

BTW, She's also spiritually intense for a kid her age & I'd like to hear your experiences on that as well.

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At 8 you don't want to overload her, but taking a formal class or two shouldn't be a problem.  What areas does she seem most interested in?  Look for outside opportunities, but let her decide if she's interested or not and if she's willing to make any sacrifices needed for it to happen (such things as getting up earlier or dropping out of something else to free up time for the new event).  The desire really needs to come from her, or it may end up being a waste of YOUR time and energy and money.  Don't worry about pushing her into a niche; she'll figure that out for herself over time.  She may end up with several!  Is she interested in music?  If so, 8 is a great age to start weekly piano lessons; becoming an accomplished musician takes time! 

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1 hour ago, klmama said:

At 8 you don't want to overload her, but taking a formal class or two shouldn't be a problem.  What areas does she seem most interested in?  Look for outside opportunities, but let her decide if she's interested or not and if she's willing to make any sacrifices needed for it to happen (such things as getting up earlier or dropping out of something else to free up time for the new event).  The desire really needs to come from her, or it may end up being a waste of YOUR time and energy and money.  Don't worry about pushing her into a niche; she'll figure that out for herself over time.  She may end up with several!  Is she interested in music?  If so, 8 is a great age to start weekly piano lessons; becoming an accomplished musician takes time! 

Thanks for your reply. I asked about summer camps (including more creative ones) but she's just not interested this year. So she'll have 10-12 weeks of unstructured time & I was just looking for suggestions on how to direct her creative energy into 'something' (whatever that 'something' may be). She has 4 extra-curriculars during the school year so giving her plenty of free time to 'just be' this summer is OK with me. She plays piano & really enjoys composing and playing by ear (which amazes me) and per her request I'll start teaching her flute over break. She writes A LOT so I thought a writing camp would be up her alley (but nope, not really interested). She's also quite taken with making videos and she likes performing (but in front of 'the parents', not for a crowd--she's shy). Perhaps a drama class later on is viable...if she wants to do it. This summer, she's enamored with Latin so we're supplying resources in order to quench her thirst. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking for...perhaps something tangible that she can point to & say, 'yeah, my lil' ol' creative self did that'. 

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I think it sounds like you are on the right track. She has chosen to learn both flute and Latin this summer, which is great.  Between flute, Latin, and making videos, she's likely to produce something she'll be proud of. 

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My 8 y.o. DD loves making things, so we have tons of art supplies available and she can use them as she likes. A few of her favorites:

  • Sculpey -- lots of animals, beads, etc. -- some from YouTube videos and others she just came up with
  • Beads, findings, and lacing/string for making necklaces/bracelets, pony bead animals, etc.
  • Perler Beads -- she has been making 3D furniture for Lego people
  • Fabric, needles, thread, and embroidery floss, hoops, etc. She has the Sewing School book and has made lots of stuff out of there independently; she also makes felt food
  • The Martha Stewart Kids craft book has a ton of ideas, many of which she has done by herself
  • Regular rotation of drawing books from the library
  • Yarn for weaving, making pompoms, etc.
  • Calligraphy ink and pens and books from the library with various lettering styles -- she usually just makes Hermione-style scrolls, spells, and potion recipes.

If she likes to write, you might also just give her a stack of blank books (those from Bare Books are great) and just let her go :)

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8 hours ago, Florimell said:

My 8 y.o. DD loves making things, so we have tons of art supplies available and she can use them as she likes. A few of her favorites:

  • Sculpey -- lots of animals, beads, etc. -- some from YouTube videos and others she just came up with
  • Beads, findings, and lacing/string for making necklaces/bracelets, pony bead animals, etc.
  • Perler Beads -- she has been making 3D furniture for Lego people
  • Fabric, needles, thread, and embroidery floss, hoops, etc. She has the Sewing School book and has made lots of stuff out of there independently; she also makes felt food
  • The Martha Stewart Kids craft book has a ton of ideas, many of which she has done by herself
  • Regular rotation of drawing books from the library
  • Yarn for weaving, making pompoms, etc.
  • Calligraphy ink and pens and books from the library with various lettering styles -- she usually just makes Hermione-style scrolls, spells, and potion recipes.

If she likes to write, you might also just give her a stack of blank books (those from Bare Books are great) and just let her go :)

Thanks for your response. We have most of what you mentioned--our kids seem alike, LOL. We're also making a doll. She got a calligraphy set for Easter we have yet to delve into. Sculpey--is that a type of modelling clay? I'll need to look into that brand. She loves to make things from boxes & other ordinary stuff. She's also handy with Google Slides & makes 'shows' from time to time. I'd like her to explore tech a bit more this summer & make a multi-media project (of what, IDK yet)--we're going to Costa Rica for vacation so perhaps something about our trip. So sounds like I'm on the right track with putting materials in front of her & allowing her to pick what & how to use them. 

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When dd was that age, she had multiple outlets available and her own creativity guided her rather than me. She learned new music constantly and quickly, picked up and messed around with different instruments, and composed. 

Besides her music, she had all the arts and crafts materials we could find/afford. She loved to walk through craft and art supply stores for inspiration and new mediums to try. She also used boxes and other materials she found/recycled from around the house to create her own tiny doll houses and doll rooms with every little detail included. She drew, made herself different types of jewelry, learned to knit, embroider, cook/bake, sew, etc... She loved to make clothing for her dolls and loved different types of craft kits. She wrote stories, poems, and kept journals. (We moved to another state about 6 weeks ago and while unpacking boxes and organizing, I came upon a five chapter "self-help" book she wrote when she was seven. We had so much fun reading that over and over and sharing it with people she included in it.)

Eventually, I found her a tutor who nurtures her creativity in writing and crafts in ways I couldn't. She is currently a touring musician, writing a novel (nearly completed), requisitions/recycles everything to create decor for her bedroom so it is different every season, loves to shop at second-hand/thrift stores for her clothing and put together old and new things for her own style, loves to cook and invent new recipes (cooks supper nearly every night), she and I began a blog for her vegan creations, and she has a vast store of knowledge of antiques that surprises us all the time. Pinterest is her favorite website to visit.

All that to say, I think a creative person will find where they wish to expend their energy. At least, it has been that way in my experience with dd. There have been times when I have found new ideas for her and exposed her to them but the drive has come from her. 

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I have no idea if my daughter is creatively gifted or not, but she's always had a need to create, and purposefully create. To feed that she has done the following:

- crochet

- sewing (hand-sewing and machine)

- woodwork (drill, hammer, saw, gluegun etc all at age 😎

- cooking (following recipes and creating her own)

- poetry

- inventing - she kept a notebook of her ideas

- she loved her mortar and pestle and would grind up all sorts of things, creating something new, like herb mixtures

- making paint (crushing up rocks, crushing up different fruits etc to make different colours, mixing with things like egg)

* An aside: I remember when she made paint out of crushed up blueberries and egg. It made a fabulous paint and she used it to paint a picture of one of our chickens, because the colour was perfect. She put the painting in the backyard to dry, and that chicken came and ate the 'paint' off the picture. It was really funny 🙂 

 

This youtube channel has been really, really wonderful: How to Make Everything. He makes things from absolute scratch. Truly excellent.

 

 

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