Heidi's Halloween Plans and Sources of Inspiration
You're known for throwing an annual Halloween bash and always having an elaborate costume. Why do you love the holiday so much?
It's the one day a year adults get to act like children. Wigs, face paint, costumes -- what's not to love, really?
Are you throwing your usual Halloween party this year? Can you give us a hint about what you're going to wear?
Of course I am throwing my annual party. I haven't missed a year yet -- this will be my 14th! I have started brainstorming about my costume but, as in all the years past, it's a big secret. I will say it may be my creepiest one yet!
Do your kids get as excited about Halloween as you do?
Definitely! My girls like to dress up as witches, and Lou was a bumblebee once. But Johan and Henry are into Spider-Man, so that is what they want to be every year.
How do you get the kids involved in Halloween decorations?
Instead of painting a pumpkin or carving it, Shakuntala taught us how to make it three-dimensional. We made a gigantic witch hat and nose out of clay and added it to a pumpkin, for instance, just by using toothpicks. Once it was dry, we painted it. Then you can add googly eyes and sparkles -- however your kids want to personalize it.
What do you do with your kids' decorations and artwork?
I display their gigantic canvases, watercolors, and three-dimensional art on a big wall at home, like at an art gallery. Not only is the whole thing beautiful, but it makes the kids feel proud to see what they did hanging on the wall, and that really builds their confidence.
We all have an art project in our head that we're waiting to get around to. What's yours?
I want to make a BFF blanket for each of my kids, with a collage of pictures of them with their pals.
Your two television shows, Project Runway and America's Got Talent, each give people an outlet to express their creativity. Do you feel yourself getting invested in helping people realize their creative dreams?
Yes, I think everyone likes to root for someone who is passionate about what they love, even if they're bad at it. And when they are good -- and on both shows I see people who are really, really good -- I can't help but want all of them to go on to do great things. So I encourage them to not give up just because they didn't win the competition. With practice you get better. I think that's true with everything in life.
Ways you can amp up your children's creativity level
- Come up with a theme. Heidi says: "My girls will love anything to do with Hello Kitty or Dora the Explorer; Henry was obsessed with dinosaurs for the longest time, and Johan can't get enough of monsters. Encourage your kids to draw, paint, or sculpt their favorite characters."
- Get physical. Heidi says: "One of our favorite things is to put music on. While the kids dance, I say, 'Okay, now do... a lion, now be a butterfly, now a bird.' Grown-ups have a hard time letting go because they think it's embarrassing. Kids don't have that fear."
- Push the boundaries. Heidi says: "Creativity is about trying something new. We went to a French restaurant and I wanted the kids to try escargot. They went, 'Ew, icky!' But they all tried it. I think that says a lot about having an open mind."
Originally published in the October 2013 issue of Parents magazine.