Our Kids: Childlike Creativity

Anyone that knows me will tell you I talk about my two daughters—a lot. In my defense, it’s pretty much “Dad Law” that I have to brag about them whenever I get the chance and think everything they do is amazing.

All joking aside, my kids’ imaginations never cease to amaze me. Whether they are creating incredibly detailed plots for stories while playing with their toys or making up random lyrics to songs, I find myself often times just watching and smiling.

What I am most in awe of, however, is the way I can give them a stack of paper and just watch them create page after page of drawings. They’ve spent entire afternoons with nothing but their imaginations, a binder of loose-leaf paper and crayons—so many crayons.

Layla bear

Like most kids, they like drawing characters from shows they watch or games or toys they play with. I could wallpaper every room of my house with pictures of Pikachu and “My Little Pony” characters, and then I could probably get half-way through the neighbor’s house too.

Other times, they just want to make pictures of my wife and me, our dog, or their grandparents. More often, they create their own characters and even come up with intricate stories for their creations.

My 9-year-old daughter, Mia, has always had a knack for putting extra detail into her art. She was drawing princesses with flowing hair wrapping around their dresses since she was 4 or 5. In first grade, her art assignment was to make a drawing of opposites. While she said most kids were doing things like night and day or big and small, Mia decided to do a sun fairy and a moon fairy standing back-to-back. She told us the sun fairy was in charge of raising the sun every morning, and the moon fairy raised the moon each night.

Mia fairies Mia fairy

Lately, her drawings are very cartoonish and feature characters with huge heads on small bodies, so she can put details in the eyes and face.

Layla, my 6-year-old, has come a long way since the days of drawing people by making a circle with stick arms and stick legs, and slapping eyes and a mouth inside of it. My wife and I always joked that they looked like preschool versions of the “Mr. Man” characters from the 1970s and ’80s.

Since those days, way back in 2015, she has filled dozens of notebooks with doodles and drawings. When she can’t figure something out, Mia and her siter hold impromptu drawing classes where they teach each other their techniques. It’s pretty funny and always adorable. (insert Dad pride here)

When I look back at their drawings, I love seeing how simple, yet detailed, they are. I am always impressed by their ideas and look forward to seeing what they bring home from school or draw at the kitchen table while I’m making dinner.

As long as my kids keep drawing me pictures, I’ll keep buying paper and notebooks and colored pencils and crayons. I’ll keep watching, and I’ll keep smiling.

Layla owl Mia owl

Layla magic ponies Mia family characters

Mia and Layla


—Matt Colby


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