Creating with kids: Turning Creatively Squared challenges into a family activity

A while ago one I saw a member of our community mention in her caption that she was going to set aside some time for herself once a week to create a photo. Jacquie  (from @fourinthenest and @natureistheteacher) is a Mum of four so for her even committing to one photo is quite an undertaking! As a result her family often collaborates to help compose her image and contribute some wonderful ideas inspired by the weekly challenge theme. I thought it was such a beautiful idea to tackle these challenges with your little ones in tow so I asked Jacquie to share her story with us.

Natura Artis Magistra with Jacquie OSBORN

Nature is the muse behind any of my creative projects. The term ‘ Natura Artis Magistra’, meaning “Nature is the teacher of art and science”, perfectly describes my inspiration. There is no better place for me to be creative with my children that in the great outdoors.

My partner and I have four children Paige (8), Gypsy (7), Hazel (5) and Leo (3) and as expected they all have their own individual talents and aspirations. A regular week for us involves many ‘adventures’, be it a bush walk, beach visit, or a camping trip. Each new ‘adventure’ gives us the opportunity to learn and discover the amazing biodiversity and geological formations of the Australian environment that make it so unique. We never miss an opportunity to be inspired by the shapes, colours, textures and sounds that nature has to offer. Gypsy is my aspiring artist, she loves to draw native flora and fauna often incorporating her collected feathers and leaves into her illustrations. Hazel has discovered my childhood flower press and it is continuously over stuffing it with her ‘collections’ from the river or bush ground.

‘Creatively Squared’ has become a great outlet to engage creatively with my children. My instagram account @natureistheteacher is a work in progress. I am no super stylist, my flat lay ability is seriously lacking, and the photography of this account has not reached its maximum potential. Previous experience has taught me the best approach to creating interesting and fun instagram content is to make it a reflection of everyday life and use it to document the memories that we have created together as a family. My Instagram squares are generally a product of our love for nature as a family, with treasures that we collect being manipulated into pieces of ‘Art’ or at the very least used as inspiration.

One of our favourite places to visit, is a local creek bed full of overhanging rocks and ‘mini cliffs’. Each new crevice in the rock platforms hides a new discovery and the word ‘treasure’ is often voiced. We recently visited this particular location and I asked them to scavenge for objects that represented their happy place. Originally we decided to make circles from pebbles and create a “happy place” from all the treasures they had collected. However, weather was not on our side and we ended up returning home to continue.

With the exclusion of Leo, who had become sidetracked, my girls made their sacred happy circles at the dinner table. From their individual creations and talking to them I produced my own entry into challenge theme for the week which was “Zen”.

If you are interested in involving your children in challenges but unsure where to start, ask your little one their interpretation of the weekly theme. The interpretation that my children give me is always more outrageous and imaginative than my own, and at the very least will provide you with some laughs.

Theme: Zen – What would be in your happy place?

Paige (8 years): Rainbows and unicorns

Gypsy (7 years): A tree

Hazel (5 years): Cuddles from Mum and Dad

Leo (3 years): Spiders and camping