Do you ever feel in a slump and wonder what’s going on? You’ve been eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping well but are just feeling drained. It may be the lack of creativity that you’ve been experiencing. Having kids definitely makes creating for yourself more difficult but it is far from impossible. Like I’ve said multiple times, you’ve got to take care of yourself before taking care of others. This includes feeding your creative soul.
I want to share 8 ways on how to make time for creativity with a toddler because that is what I’m experiencing in my life presently. Hopefully you’ll be able to utilize these tips whether you have no kids, a baby or older kids.
How to Make Time for Creativity with a Toddler
- Set a timer. I bought the Datexx Cube Timer when Sophie was younger to help me manage cleaning. I felt overwhelmed with watching her so closely 24 hrs/day and having to keep the house up. I would set the timer for 15-20 minutes and do a quick clean and was much more efficient. The same method could be used for creating. Find 15 minutes or an hour each day to do something creative.
- Have a ‘sit by me’ activity on hand. If your toddler is not quite ready to play alone, create ‘sit by me’ activities to have on hand to allow you to do independent crafts near each other. Creative with Kids has a few great ideas that are inexpensive and have easy clean up.
- Schedule creativity. Sometimes you have to schedule in fun. This also means you have to say no to invitations to make sure you’re leaving enough time for yourself. When we were in the moving process the only thing that kept me sane was scheduling in fun by literally writing it on the calendar. It did not matter how many boxes needed packed or how much cleaning needed to be done, I stuck to our ‘mandatory fun’ schedule to relieve stress. I’ve also been known to buy online classes for myself so I would be more excited to work on a specific craft. I have my eye on Scrapbook Design & Storytelling: Beyond the Basics and Crochet: Basics & Beyond for this winter.
- Make creativity a routine. It sounds silly to think about an activity that is based on feelings, spontaneity and whims should be a routine but it really helps. Once you start making creativity a priority and a part of your life, you will realize how important it is for your happiness.
- Set up a craft day with friends. Maybe you feel guilty taking time to do crafts by yourself when you feel you should be with your toddler. Why not do creative activities with friends hitting two birds with one stone. Some of my favorite past craft projects were because I was creating with friends.
- Create a ‘self creativity zone’ for your toddler. If you have an easily accessible, safe area that is toddler friendly, set up in your home, it will encourage your toddler to be creative on their own. Toddlers love mimicking their parents. Having their own area to create will encourage them to follow your lead. Tinkerlab has a great post on creating a ‘self creativity zone‘ and other articles on why creativity for kids is important.
- Have materials easily accessible. Not everyone is fortunate to have a studio or their own room specifically for crafts. You don’t need an entire room, but a space dedicated to being creative will help make creativity more spontaneous. Organize your craft supplies in a way that makes it easy to grab the materials you’ll need for a project. The small amount of time you have for crafting will be used for creating rather than searching for your supplies.
- Go out! If you don’t have a space that you can dedicate to your craft, go out to be creative. Paint pottery, do a wine and canvas night or even sign up for a college art class. I’ve taken photography, art, belly dancing and horticulture through a local community college and it was a great way to keep me accountable in making time for a creative outlet. Libraries often have free sessions on creative endeavors as well.
There are countless ways to express your creativity. I’ve read several books on time management and really enjoyed my last read called The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity. The book includes a workbook that helped me figure out what is most important in my life during this stage and how to make more time for those things. Take a good look at what you’re spending your time doing. There are several free time tracking apps that help you figure out how to better manage your time. You might only look at Facebook for a few minutes but when it’s 10 times per day, is it really a productive way to spend your time? Finding one hour in the span of a week should not be that difficult and you will likely notice that you’re more confident, more patient with your family and not as stressed. I’d love to hear ways that you make time for creative outlets or if you’ve read any time management books that have really helped shape how you spend your days.
For fun DIY craft projects, check my DIY Pinterest Board: