My house is loud. It’s so loud. All morning long. All evening before dinner. Come by my house sometime, and you’ll see what I mean. You might have to knock on the door several times, so we can hear you.
At any moment during the day, I will have the dishwasher and washing machine going while my oldest tries to figure out the chorus to “Call Me Maybe” on the piano, my middle son provides sound effects for his Great Hot Wheels Living Room Speedway, and my youngest makes up new words to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star while twirling in the kitchen.
We have instruments in our house. Lots of them. Already, I have enforced the “Only Play the Trumpet in your Room” Rule. But my kids like to play trumpet all together (yes, we have enough trumpets in the family for everyone), so the bedroom door doesn’t give much of a buffer to 3 trumpets bellowing like dying cows. And as much as I protest his thinking, my husband assures me “dying cow” sets the curve of most beginner students.
Other times we’ll have drums banging or the bass cranked up for dancing music. We wrestle, pretend, squeal, bark commands, spout opinions, tell stories. Just ask my extended family members – we are so loud. Bless their hearts, they still try to call me during the day.
And honestly, I love the loud. Yes, my children are rambunctious. They get carried away and yell too much. I
sometimes often shut it all down with a “CAN EVERYONE JUST GO OUTSIDE, PLEASE?”
Overall, I encourage loud when the loud encourages creativity.
But you see, every afternoon, for about an hour and a half to two hours, my house is quiet. We are all in our own spaces and doing our own things.
My youngest still naps on most days, but on days she doesn’t, I’ll hear her singing little songs to herself, “reading” books, or pretending with her Little People. My boys spend the time looking at books, drawing, quietly playing with cars, or building with Legos.
Some days they need reminders. Quiet Time is not a time to jump on the bed or destroy block towers or provide sound effects for the freshly folded paper airplane. And swim days? Well, on swim days, they take a nap, too.
And I stretch in the luxurious quiet.
Mostly, our afternoons are a time for everyone to get recharged and remember we all actually love each other after all.
Creativity needs the right conditions to grow. You can’t force it. It’s organic and rarely planned. How can you stimulate creativity in your home?
1. Set Up Routines.
Have times in the day when your kids can get crazy loud, but remember to balance the loud with time to chill and settle. Try to have those times pretty structured, something simple like, “After lunch, we are going to pick up the toys and then rest.”
2. Keep out Wasted Noise.
Use music to stimulate learning or create a mood. Don’t use music as a background. Use the television intentionally. If no one is watching it, turn it off. We’ve even limited noise from our kids. Just recently, my husband said, “You can only sing with words in the car.” (This came as a solution to the babbling wars between our youngest two.)
3. Set boundaries.
Sometimes my kids want to be loud, and I just don’t. At those times, I encourage them to go outside or to their rooms. I’m often heard saying, “You can play the piano, but shut the door.”