Thursday, March 26, 2015

Crafting Saves the World!

Welcome today's guest author, Lois Winston to Killer Hobbies today! How do you help foster your kids' creativity?

March is National Craft Month. I believe that people are born creative. Just watch any baby or toddler exploring his surroundings, and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, most adults start squelching that creativity (Don’t touch!) in their children early on. Eventually that innate creativity is so suppressed that it’s nearly impossible to retrieve. So why are we then surprised when our kids prefer to sit around for hours, staring at a computer monitor or TV screen?

Solving problems and resolving conflicts require creative thinking. Creativity needs to be nurtured in order that today’s children grow up to become tomorrow’s leaders, but too many outside forces are at work, influencing our children to “color within the lines.” Now think about this: people who color within the lines never learn to think outside the box. It’s that outside the box thinking that finds solutions to the world’s problems.

One of the ways we can help our children continue to grow their creativity is to encourage them to craft, beginning at a very early age. The first step is to have creative materials around the house for children to use. Keep ample supplies of paint, glue, markers, chenille stems, craft sticks, pompoms, and other basic craft materials handy for those “I’m bored; there’s nothing to do” days.

Instead of buying another video game for that next birthday party or special occasion, buy craft kits. Keep a few kits on hand for rainy days, for when your children’s friends spend the night, or just for an impromptu surprise. Encourage children to make gifts for family members’ birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc. instead of buying gifts.

Remember that your children’s efforts don’t have to be perfect. Always praise the attempt and encourage children to continue creating. The act of crafting develops small motor skills and hand/eye coordination. Creativity helps grow our brains. By encouraging your children to craft, you’re giving them an incredible foundation for future endeavors.

All it takes for children to learn to love crafting is an environment in which they can satisfy their creative nature. Nurture that inborn talent, and you’ll help your children grow into creative adults that just might wind up solving many of our planet’s problems.

I write two mystery series, the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and the Empty Nest Mysteries. In both series my amateur sleuths are artists/crafters, but they must also use the creative sides of their brains not only to solve murders but to find ways out their own personal predicaments.

In Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack learns that her recently deceased husband was a closet gambler, and he’s left his family deeply in debt. Anastasia needs to think outside the box to keep herself and her kids from winding up living in a cardboard box on the street. Each of the books in the series (four novels and three mini-mysteries to date) finds her moonlighting at other jobs to help pay down her debt.

In Definitely Dead, the first book in my Empty Nest Mystery series, would-be novelist Gracie Elliott’s job as a fabric designer is outsourced overseas. When she can’t find another position in her field, her outside-the-box thinking results in her establishing a business that will allow her the flexibility to pen her future (hopefully!) bestsellers while also earning the income she needs to keep her kids in college. Future books in the series will find Gracie continuing to put her creativity to work in various entrepreneurial enterprises.


USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Tsu at, on Pinterest at, and onTwitter @anasleuth.


vicki batman said...

Hi, Lois! Like you, I believe other creative pursuits stimulate our head and translates into other areas. For you and me it shows in our writing. I was never a big sports girl. My mom and my aunts gathered every Monday at my grandmother's where they sewed, knitted, crocheted, tatted. Grandmother taught me to embroider at nine, something I do to this day.

Suzie Tullett said...

Great post as always, Lois. It reminded me of discussion I had with a group of mothers. One of them wanted ideas on how to keep her five year old occupied during a flight. Whilst most suggested the latest in hand held gaming devices, I suggested lots of colouring books and crayons, reading books, play doe or plastercine etc etc Each and every other mother looked at me like I was from a different planet. I found it quite sad that simple, yet creative, activities were deemed less entertaining x

Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome, Lois! I love your ideas about teaching children crafting. I started learning when I was young, too--although I admit I'm not so much of a crafter these days.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks for stopping by, Vicki, Suzie, and Linda!

The wonderful thing about crafting is that it teaches us that we can take raw materials and create something beautiful with them, thereby changing the way we view the world and everything within it. That in turn makes us more open to other possibilities--like writing.

It's too bad so many parents don't realize the harm they're doing to their children when they stifle their creative natures. Although, Suzie, I'm not sure the flight attendants on that plane would appreciate Play-doh covering the seats and tray tables! ;-O

Vamp Writer said...

Excellent comment about children coloring "outside the lines" to foster their "thinking outside the box" and thus help them to become more creative and able to solve difficult problems & better deal with stressful situations. (:

Angela Adams said...

Children can be busy for hours with crayons, paper, scissors and glue. Thanks for the post!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks for stopping by, Vamp Writer and Angela!

Triss said...

Lois, well said!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Triss!

Janice Seagraves said...

Being a artist and crafter myself, I love this post.

My mom is an artist and still paints at 75, and I encouraged my daughter in her artistic endeavors too.


Dee Ann Palmer said...

Hi Linda!

Actually, writing is considered a craft, not a profession, so I'd say you're very much into crafting. You no doubt spend hours and hours at it.

Skyewriter said...

Encouraging creativity in our children seems to have gotten lost in the hustle of after school programs, sports, play dates and busy schedules. Great Post Lois. I am happy to report that my grandchildren, in spite of all being involved in either sports or music have parents who have encouraged coloring outside of the lines and have huge bins of craft supplies. My Refrigerator is a testament to projects of all sorts, some even sporting long dead flowers that once created a beautiful splash of color on the bare white surface. Of course, by now there's not much white left showing.

E. Ayers said...

I always get upset when I hear parents complain that crayons, glue, colored paper, etc just makes a mess! I understand today's busy households with both parents working makes it more difficult to handle "messes" but kids thrive on creating and making those strange messes! They need that time!

Love your mysteries! They are always cute and funny. Perfect reading material after a long hard day.