Research has shown that creative development in children is key to their future success. While it may not seem like a big deal, a quiet afternoon spent coloring pages or an extravagant tower built with blocks is actually crucial to your child’s development. Creative play promotes divergent thinking, a process which is key to problem solving and strategizing. Encourage more creative play and less TV time. Although many children’s TV shows are educational, kids need time away from electronic media and television to reflect upon what they’ve learned and apply this newly acquired information toward real life situations.
Get creative with art
When you hear the word “creativity”, most often what comes to mind is artistic activities. This is certainly not the only way to inspire your children creatively, nevertheless, it is a great way to get your child’s creative juices flowing. Consider print-making. This is a rather easy, yet exciting activity that involves dipping shapely or patterned objects like leaves or foam cut-outs shapes into ink, paint, etc. and stamping the dipped object on plain paper to create different patterns. You can then use them for other fun activities like collage making or even picture frames.
Another great activity to stimulate your child’s creativity is self-portraits. This would encourage them to really consider the way they see themselves compared to rest of the world and vice versa. You can really get imaginative with this one, using anything from crayons to yarn and glitter glue. Using objects like pasta or beans to create self-portraits and other artwork is a great way to get your kiddo to understand and use patterns and relativity to create their masterpiece.
Try a hands-on approach
Hands-on activities are an important tool you can use to better observe and understand your child’s learning style, as well as promote craftsmanship in their work and a sense of ownership and self-esteem. A great activity for toddlers and young children is shaving cream canvases. Fill a baking sheet with shaving cream and smooth over to create a flat, canvas-like surface. Drop 1-2 drops of food coloring in a variety of colors and let your child use their fingers to paint pictures and patterns on the shaving cream canvas.
Encourage school-aged children to get in the kitchen with you and help out with cooking and baking. This will give them hands-on, real life experience with food-handling and flavor combinations. This will also encourage your children to think about the fuel they’re putting in their bodies and inspire them and you to come up with creative, tasty ways to eat healthier, more balanced meals.
You can also use things in your home that you would normally throw out or recycle to turn into awesome construction tools. Save things like cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls, wire and plastic bread ties, aluminum pull-tabs and plastic cutlery to build DIY buildings, animals, people or all of the above. You can even repurpose things like plastic cups, paper plates, clothespins and toothpicks to use in these projects as well. Let them build their own dream house or fictional town and characters; the possibilities are endless!
Get some fresh air
Getting your kiddo outside in the sun to soak up some vitamin D and run wild with their imaginations is another way to invigorate your child’s creative sensibilities. Go on nature walks with them and talk about different plants, animals and rocks you come across. While out, gather more nature-made materials to be used for future projects. Though messy, mud-pies are another wonderful way to get your child to use their imagination. For a less-mess alternative, you can buy or make a sand box for them instead. There are endless opportunities for creativity to spark when spending time outside among nature.
As you can see, creative abilities in children are ever-important. It’s a good idea to always encourage hands-on activities over passive activities like watching TV or using electronic media. Also, set your expectations for your children a little higher. When you have low expectations, your child will notice. This will hinder them from believing in their own capabilities and limit independence, which in turn can promote low self-confidence and poor workmanship. Keep inspiring your child’s creativity, motivate them to create anything and everything. Lastly, never forget to give them the praise and positive feedback they crave for their efforts and accomplishments.