We are all innately curious and creative, one way or another. Creativity is one of the keys to success and it’s something that goes beyond art and music — it’s a skill that can be used for almost everything we do. Opportunities open up to the most creative person in the room, and as parent, you have the important role of developing creativity in your child.
We should encourage our children to explore and be adventurers of art and of life. One of the best ways to encourage kids to be creative is to lead by example. Children are influenced by the world around them and the parents’ influence is the strongest.
Not a creative person? You don’t have to be good in drawing or playing an instrument, as simple as experimenting on a new recipe, mixing up your wardrobe, or even a hobby, can be your creative outlet. My creative project is hand-pouring candles and bath bombs. I experiment and create unique combinations of scents you won’t even think will work. This is my favorite way of expressing my creativity and ingenuity. Before we encourage our kids to be creative, it’s important that we explore our creativity first.
Creative individuals are the best problem solvers. They connect with the community by expressing themselves in the most unique way. Teaching kids that creativity is amazing and that it’s a beautiful talent they should embrace will change their perspective at an early age.
Let’s foster creativity and continual curiosity in our kids. Here are some tips to get you started:
Celebrate Even the Tiniest Creative Projects
Using positive reinforcement for the efforts or achievements of our children will greatly help in their creativity. When you celebrate even the smallest creative projects, you’re boosting their self-esteem and confidence which encourages them to go and try out even more creative outlets.
When our children see that we appreciate their effort, be it a drawing on a piece of paper, a silly dance move, or a new song, it will encourage them to explore more and learn new things. Let’s take time from our busy schedules. Let’s stop whatever we’re doing and ask our children about their artwork. Ask them to teach you that new dance step or song. These simple acts make all the difference.
We have a wall at home that’s just for my daughter’s drawings. It’s our little way of showing how proud we are of her work even if it’s just a random doodle. By supporting our kids’ creative senses, they can easily express their artistic mindsets without constraint and the feeling of disapproval.
Bring Paper and Crayons With You All the Time
It’s a good idea to bring with you an art box whenever you leave the house. Just use an old lunch box and put crayons and papers in so when opportunity presents itself, like waiting for a line or waiting for food, you’re not letting a creative moment pass. This fosters an even broader creative atmosphere and it’s a good habit to cultivate.
Do Creative Stuff Together
An environment that shows support as opposed to restraining creative efforts is a more suitable place to encourage imagination and resourcefulness. The impact of bonding with our kids through artistic ways shows lifelong benefits socially, emotionally, and mentally.
Creative activities together like painting, storytelling, or even a goofy dance-off will make our children feel that they are in a safe zone to laugh, to be silly, to learn, and to bond. This is an important building block to success. I often let my daughter help me with my candle creations. I ask her what my scent creations make her feel. She never fails to surprise me though. When our kids see and feel that we celebrate creativity in any form, we’re nurturing their talents and skills yet to be discovered.
Let Them Choose What to Wear
Our kids are capable of doing a lot of things themselves early in life. When you let them become independent, you’re not only boosting their self-esteem, you’re also showing your confidence in their abilities. Independence plays a big part in creative development.
As simple as letting them decide on what to wear gives our children a chance to showcase their taste in style. This gives them freedom on how they want other people to perceive them. It has become a habit for us to do things for them because we’re in a rush or we don’t have the patience, but a calm, less demanding approach promotes problem solving and kids tend to grow up as critical thinkers.
I let my daughter choose her hairstyle and what to wear. She often ends up with an unusual look but the self-esteem and confidence she gains is incredible. Follow their lead and you’ll be pleasantly surprised where they take you.
Let Them Take Over Story Time
If your little ones don’t know how to read yet, let them interpret the drawings or pictures instead. Children are the most imaginative people and are great storytellers. Encourage them to take over story time and most importantly, pay close attention when they do.
Help them understand the pictures by asking questions like, “what do you think they’re doing?” Ask them what would they have done instead to solve the problem in the story. This promotes critical thinking and improves problem-solving skills.
Engage in Role-Playing Games
Storytelling stimulates our cognitive functioning and there’s no better way to promote this other than role playing games. Reading stories is one, but actually experiencing them is a good exercise for our brains.
Role playing to kids not only teaches them to be creative, it also makes them better communicators. They learn to collaborate with other people which is essential in social development and it’s a great way to help them make sense of real-life situations. It sparks creativity and imagination and the bond created after is priceless.
Embrace Your Child’s Individuality
It is important to understand that our kids have their own unique ways of expressing creativity. It can get messy, it can get loud but what matters most is your creating an atmosphere that’s conducive for creative learning and you’re with them every step of the way.
Jane is a writer by day, ninja mom by night to her young daughter. She works as a digital marketing specialist at a branding agency in Edmonton. She loves sticky notes, Excel sheets, and concocting scented candles.
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