How do We Create?

Everyday, every hour, our kids create and discover things and, most of the time, they don’t need any help from us to bring their ideas into fruition. But when they get stuck, it’s great to know how and when to step in- while ensuring they retain ownership of their creation.

Blog image crayons


Without realizing it, we all go through similar steps each time we create something new. Depending on the project or idea we can get stuck at different points in the process. Being aware of the creative process and the potential pitfalls is key to determining the best way to intervene.

There are four steps we go through each time we create something new:

1. Capture an Idea– This is the moment that makes your heart swell, you light up with excitement and energy to pursue a new idea.

2.  Map it Out- Start planning. What’s it gonna take? What supplies, skills and information is needed to pursue the idea? This is an exciting stage carried by the anticipation for what’s to come.

3. Take Action- Sometimes we fearlessly jump in and other times its not that easy. Depending on the idea, this can be a wonderful exploratory phase or tap into self doubt and fear of failure.

4.  Finish and Reflect- This is when we either reach our goal and celebrate or decide to stop, reassess, and possibly change tactics or let it go and move on.

With my four year old, this looks like:

1.  “I’m going to make a fort!”

2.  Flurry of chaos to collect his fort making supplies

3. He starts constructing, it falls over, he goes back to step two for more supplies.

4. Ta-da! It’s done. “Now, I want to make it bigger!” Back to step two.

The steps are straightforward but what may not be so obvious is how to help when there are obstacles along the way- when the idea isn’t clear, the supplies are not readily available, or feelings of discouragement hit when things don’t go as planned.

In the next few posts, I’ll dig into each step of the creative process, describe the challenges that can arise and share ideas to support your child (or your own creative process) along the way.


Next time your child makes something, try to identify the steps of the creative process- and tell us about it in the blog comments.

Enjoy our posts? Subscribe to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


Tell us what you think, we always love to hear from you: