Don’t Be the Creativity Police, Sometimes Dogs are Yellow

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 2.59.54 PMOur little “in house” creator, Braeden is working on a new puppet. Inspired by Steve Axtell‘s Shaggy Mountain Dog Puppet, Braeden decided to make a shaggy dog…a yellow one.

So, he started his process of making patterns, bonding foam, making eyes and envisioning the puppet that he wants. In one night, he sewed his foundation and excitedly showed all of us. I took pictures and video as always. It’s kind of our “thing” because I am still amazed at him…even after all that he has done.

Like always, Braeden took the dog to show my mother, who replied with a very predictable and immediate…

“Braeden, dogs are not yellow. Why would you make him yellow?”

Braeden, of course, retorted…”Granny, it’s a puppet, MY puppet and he’s yellow!”

Dear Adults…Step Away from the Child…Unless You Are Encouraging

My mother is super creative in her own right. She also makes mind blowing amazing things but not in the same way as Braeden. The creator in her wants to tell him how he should see the world and she does this often. For any other child, these moments would be completely and totally hindering. The difference is that Braeden is just as stubborn as she is so he makes yellow dogs, pink bunnies and even blue humans…regardless of the criticism. We love that about him and encourage it.

My mother isn’t purposefully discouraging Braeden from being creative. She’s coming from a place of being a teacher. She wants to teach him…to help him so that he can be better but it’s hard for her to understand his vision and separate her own ideas from it.

I saw a question posted on twitter about barriers to creativity and another posted later with ideas to remove barriers. Here it is below.


I’ve said it a million times that we are born into this world naturally creative. We learned by using our senses. We touched, pulled, tasted, built and fumbled until we figured things out. At some point, someone made us sit on a rug, put our fingers to our mouths and color between the lines…over and over again.

If we really want kids to be more creative, we’ve got to take ourselves out of the equation. We’ve got to step back and let them field their way through as we encourage, support and enjoy. If they need our help, we’ll be there but it’s important that what kids create is of their own making.

After all, wouldn’t the world be much better if we had many more yellow dogs?

In case you’re wondering…Below is the Shaggy Mountain dog that inspired Braeden. (One might confuse this with being an example. I call it inspiration)

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  1. Pingback: 30 Days of Learning Day 2: Collaborative Learning with Photoshop | RafranzDavis.com

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