Sometimes the biggest challenge when trying something creative is getting somebody to join in in the first place. If an activity feels too “set up” it may make a person feel inhibited which means they are less likely to take a chance and give the activity a go. So if you are trying activities with a member of your family or with a person that you are supporting what can you do to make taking part feel as natural and spontaneous as possible? Here are some of our suggestions:
Make A Discovery
Set up an activity so that it is there and ready for somebody to explore when they go into a space. Sometimes the sense of surprise can make something more appealing, and can allow somebody to make the decision about giving it a go in their own time. Eg lay out a craft activity on the kitchen table to dip into after you come in from the garden, or lay a poem on a table next to a favourite armchair with a prop to compliment it so that you can read it together when you sit down. It can also be nice to play some complimentary music to set the scene further.
Do It Together
If you have visitors such as friends or grandchildren it can be lovely to do something together, and this can give an activity a real sense of purpose. It’s always much easier to try something as part of a group, even a small one! And if you can’t meet in person are there things you could do together on the phone or on a video call? Eg play a balloon game with your grandchildren, or do a craft activity together on a video call. You could even try a quiz on the phone, or reading a poem or story together.
Do It At Your Own Pace
Sometimes you may only do an activity for a minute or two and feel like it isn’t finished. Other times the mood may be right to continue with something for much longer, with an activity coming to a natural end when it is completed. Or there may be times when an activity keeps stopping and starting and you come back to it again and again. All of these approaches are fine! The important thing is to work in a way that suits you.
Some days a person won’t want to take part at all, whilst other days they will be very enthusiastic. Other times they may say no to start with then give something a go when they come back to it later. Choice to say yes or no is crucial, and in the longer term a person is more likely to get involved if they maintain the option to choose not to get involved.
Make It Special
Some activities are lovely as part of a special occasion and the extra atmosphere around them can make them much more appealing. It doesn’t need to be anything really fancy just something a little different from your normal routine. Eg Make a pot of tea and lay out some cakes to eat whilst you read some poetry together.
Give It A Go! And Again! And Again!
The first step in any process is to start trying things. Sometimes they don’t work at all, but other times something will really spark interest and you will discover things that work for you and that you really enjoy doing together. And if something doesn’t work that’s fine too! Being creative is a process of trial and error so keep trying things to see what clicks.
In many ways this is the most important thing! All creative activities have many different benefits but one of the biggest ones if the fun that they will bring. Don’t take them too seriously, or be too worried about what you create. Remember that if you are doing something together, having a chat and having a giggle together that the activity is a success!