Encourage Creativity at Home: Loud & Quiet

June 11, 2013

Keynan Goofball

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.

boys on trumpets

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.

HB Reading

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.

Keynan Lego

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.

Parker napping

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.”

How do you balance the volume levels of creativity in your home?

Kelly Wiggains

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Kelly Wiggains, a high school English teacher turned homeschooling mom, likes to surround herself with good literature, beautiful things, and big ideas, and she wants her home to reflect those things, too. Here at KellyWiggains.com she talks about everything From Literature to Living.
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7 responses to Encourage Creativity at Home: Loud & Quiet

  1. Good job, Kelly.

  2. Kelly, I have a feeling our boys would be peas in a pod. Mine are exactly the same. And we have also enforced that singing and talking are done with words!!! What can they do during quiet time? iPad, or other screen device, or just books, or do you let them play in a separate space with small toys, like cars? Do they have to be on their bed? Do you do this during school year also, or just summer?

    • During quiet time they can read books, draw with map colors or crayons, or play quietly. I put Hannah Beth in her room, and she usually takes a nap. One of the boys goes in the boys’ bedroom and the other one goes in my room or on the couch (which is not ideal, but we have a small house). I try to keep them on their bed as much as possible. And we do this every day we are home, with the occasional exception – like grandparents or cousins being in town. We only allow screens (iPad, iPhone, etc.) after nap time.

  3. I should have known when you were my favorite RA that you’d be an even more awesome mom.

    • Ha! I remember making Erin some hot chocolate one time when she was sick, and she told me, “You’re going to be a great mom.” I guess all those years as an RA really did prepare me.

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