Back-to-School Creativity Tip #7 (and Two-Ingredient Tuesday): Embrace the “Uh-oh” Moments

We’re in the midst of our special Back to School series, where we’re sharing 10 Ways to Inspire Creativity During the School Year. With easy project ideas and Kiwi printables on their way, your kiddos are in for a treat!

Back-to-School Creativity Tip #7: Embrace the “Uh-oh” Moments. How do your kids handle it when they make mistakes while they’re creating something?  I’ll be honest – my two oldest (ages 4.5 and 6.5) are not the most resilient.  If they “mess up” (or worse yet, their little brother barges onto the scene and causes them to scribble across their masterpiece), it can be meltdown-city.

Which is why when I came across this book, Beautiful Oops, I knew we had to check it out.  It’s all about how to take an “oops” and turn it into an “ah!” — which is what creativity is all about, isn’t it?  After reading it together, we decided to try the concept out.

All you need is:

  • Paper
  • Markers / crayons

(Bonus: it’s also a Two Ingredient Tuesday project!)

I started out by making a scribble on the paper.  Oops!  Then I handed it off to H and asked if he could please turn it into something?  At first, he was a little resistant: “What, Mom??  That’s too hard!”  But after a little thinking, he decided to give it a try.  I was tickled to see where his creativity took him (left = my scribble; right = H’s bunny rabbit)


If your child isn’t old enough yet to do real representational drawing (not that that bunny is exactly representational), but they have hit the “I messed up! I’m tearing up this paper” phase, you can encourage them to just explore ways to build on your “mistake” with prompts like “what color would you add to this?” or “what shape would make this more interesting?”  That was more the direction we went with S, below, who’s 4.5.

I’m sure this activity isn’t going to cure my budding artists of their perfectionism right away, but I think it’s a good exercise to pull out every now and then to remind them how easy it is to turn an “oops” into an “ah!”

Do you have any good ways to celebrate “uh-oh” moments? Please share!


About Kiwi Crate
Kiwi Crate delivers monthly projects for kids ages 3 to 7, all materials and inspiration included. All activities are reviewed by experts and tested by kids to make sure they encourage curiosity, exploration, and creativity! Learn more.

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