Have you ever been in a comfort zone?
We've all been there!
That's the thing about a comfort zone.. it's sooo darn comfortable!
But creating change (whether is't small or big change) requires us to step out of our comfort zones. Only then can we take the steps toward realizing our dreams.
I'm pretty sure no one has ever realized their dreams while sitting back in their cozy comfort zones.
Oprah Winfrey said:
"The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning."
We chatted to three inspiring ladies who stepped out of their comfort zones in order to create positive impact in the lives of kids on a daily basis.
They did so by starting kids crafting clubs and running weekly classes from home and at schools in their communities.
Louise, Claudi and Celesté shared their incredible stories with us.
"Slowly but surely I am making a difference, one child at a time"
As an ex high-school teacher I saw that, even at a high-school level, some children’s development was not complete. Some of the students still struggled with basic fine motor skills like holding their pens properly and other things like not using the full width of a paper when writing sentences.
There were 9th graders in my class that still used their fingers to follow along when they read and 11th graders that shuddered over the texture of glue and paint. There were so many children in my classes that really struggled to concentrate, especially when it came to creative activities like creative writing.
In 2019, I started my own kids crafting club for 2 to 12 year olds. My favorite part of owning a club is seeing the little kids’ eyes LIGHT UP when they manage to figure something out by themselves. I can see how primary school kids, even though they are taught movement in Science at school, only truly understand the concept once they’ve built their own car in craft class.
One of my fondest memories since I started my club is teaching a kindergartener how to blow through a straw. In that class we created frogs from pool noodles and for the activity I put out large containers of water and each kid received a paper straw. They then had to blow through the straws to make their frogs ‘swim’ in the water. The one little girl put her frog in the water and then stood up straight and blew over the other kids’ heads. I showed her how to bend down, get up close to her frog and blow through the straw. It took a bit of practise, but the moment her frog started swimming, the entire class cheered and she was beaming with pride!
After that day, I adopted a new nickname: I am Auntie Froggie! When I arrive at the school to teach the after-school class, the kids yell “Auntie Froggie is here!”.
Another experience that will always stay with me is working with a boy that had severe sensory sensitivity. Initially he didn’t want to touch a thing in my class. Over time he got accustomed, and later I could not keep him out of the rice bowl!
"Everything changes the moment kids realise that there is no right or wrong in crafting class."
Then the kids' born creativity flourishes and they really have fun with the process. They know there is no one rushing them on and that no one will step in and take over. They feel empowered and in control.
After working with high-school kids for 8 years, my crafting club has taught me how to communicate with younger kids again. It has shown me how to see the world through their eyes.
I am so grateful for it all. I feel like I am living again and not just being sucked in by a rigid education department.
I love crafting. And when I say love, I mean L.O.V.E crafting. It’s a bit of an obsession really. I never thought that I would be able to make a living from my passion, but then I found Canvas Club!
Initially my favourite part of owning my own club was the crafts. The fact that the Creative Crafting Club lessons are developed by an architect, engineer, occupational therapist and an artist is just amazing! The benefits to a child’s developmental and sensory skills blows my mind every time I host a class. All while playing and getting messy! What can be better than that?
Every time a school allows me to host a class or demo for the little ones it’s a win for me. I love the children’s curiosity and excitement when it comes to the crafts.
The most challenging part has been to get the information about the program across to the parents. I know that once they’ve tried the classes, they will love it!
I once had a little 4 year old boy in my class. He was incredibly shy. He wouldn’t even look me in the eyes! I spent some extra time with him, just playing with different colour paints. By the end of the class he was painting his hands and interacting with the kids around him! Seeing him come out of his shell was a joy! As for cuteness, all I can say is #CutenessOverload!
"I get to do what I love! Being crafty and working with children has made me happier than I thought I would ever be."
I started my club because it was important to me to be with my kids in the afternoons after school and to do something dynamic and creative with my time.
"One of my favorite parts of running a club is to see the kids astonishment when they realise they are able to create something great on their own."
I have heard such wonderful feedback that my crafting classes are improving my students' school work.
Every child has his or her own unique creative flair and it is amazing to see how they become more relaxed and comfortable with themselves during a class.
One of my students always refers to herself as a ‘dark person’ and used to only use dark colors in class. Just the other day, she made a bright happy PINK pom-pom, just because she felt like it.
"Running my own club has taught me a-lot about myself. The best part for me is to have the flexibility to spend time with my kids."
We feel so inspired by these strong women who are creating impact in their communities. They stepped out of their comfort zones to fulfil their purpose of working creativity with kids and from these stories, it is clear that the benefits are showing for the kids.
What are your dreams? What are the small steps you are going to take to create change in your life or to get one step closer to realizing YOUR dreams?
Do you, like Louise, Claudi and Celesté, have a dream of working creatively with kids? Learn more