A child often comes up with tricky questions and you may find you are often left with a loss for words. This is because your child reaches the peak of cognitive development so quickly with the brain developing up to 90% in the first five years of age. They tend to think about things in ways that we haven’t but this won’t last long if not encouraged. Imagination.org says that, “Creativity is recognized as one of the most critical skills for the next generation.” Can Parents Encourage Creativity? Absolutely. As a parent, it is your duty to nurture this creative, inquiring mind and help your child to think logically while still allowing them creative freedom to imagine, dream, and see things in new ways. Here are five fun ways to encourage creativity in children.
Once your child gets addicted to electronic gadgets, it is very difficult for him or her to concentrate on anything else so I recommend holding this off as long as possible. Research shows that creative activities boosts the child’s mental development and promotes holistic growth. Creative activities also improve a child’s motor skills like eye and hand coordination. These creative activities will keep your child busy for hours. They will learn new things while interacting and it will help them to make decisions on their own. Here are some easy activities to encourage creativity in your child.
How Can Parents Encourage Creativity?
You may be wondering, “Can parents encourage creativity?” Yes, certainly! Parents can encourage creativity through creative activities but also through their encouraging responses to creative ideas. If you laugh at what they say or say, “That is silly” with distain, most children will make a mental note not to behave that way again. If you say, “What a cool way of thinking about that. I love the new ideas you come up with,” they likely be telling you the next thing they think of and feeling proud instead of different or not so smart. A parent’s approval goes a long way to encourage any behavior. With that in mind, be sure to respond in an encouraging manner to these activities to boost your child’s creativity.
5 Fun Activities That Promote Creativity In Children
Opt for non-toxic finger paints for younger children. Or better still make your own super cheap and sparkly finger paints. This activity will help your child hone motor skills and stimulate their creative mind – they can customize colors and make their own paintings. Place an old sheet or newspapers on the floor to prevent mess. Here is a quick and easy recipe to make non-toxic finger paint at home. Kids love learning how things are made and they will grow more creative as they are inspired by the possibilities. This creative process is also great for developing fine motor skills.
Older kids can still enjoy painting too. Try a group mural project where everyone can join in on the fun. Have the outlines done first in black paint on cardboard boxes. Then have lots of art supplies handy so kids can come back and fill in the spaces with various colors. Children’s creativity can be a thing of beauty and wonder.
2. Read Along
Reading is one of the quickest and most effective ways to bolster imagination and creativity. Don’t restrict yourself to only reading; create questions and activities around reading. For example, ask your child some questions about the story. See if they can come up with alternate endings. My son used to like to read the story backwards when he was done reading it forwards. It made hime laugh every time and it showed how combining words in different ways meant completely different things.
Get a library membership to encourage the reading habit in your child, it will help him in the long run. Encourage, your child to make crafts based on the story. You can also look at pinterest for craft inspiration around different books. If your child cannot read all by himself, then read to your child and point at the pictures.
As they get older give you child the chance to practice creative expression by making up their own stories. Celebrate their own ideas. Their storylines and characters will be become more complex as they practice their art of storytelling. This is a great way to learn bout the child’s interests in a fun way. Kids’ imaginations are full of original ideas and it is fun to see their different perspectives.
3. Coloring Sheets
Children are inspired by arts and the sky’s the limit for the creativity here.Simply download free printable coloring sheets and you are set to go. The children can color the sheets and then do crafts like cutting and pasting. They can use glue glitter colors, beads and buttons on the sheets to make them look beautiful. In fact coloring sheets are the most transportable children’s toy. Just carry along a tub of colors and some coloring sheets and you are good to go.
You can find a host of free coloring sheets at MomJunction. You can find a plethora of information about festivals, seasons, animals, numbers, math and even favorite cartoon characters. If your child yearns to be even more creative, they can flip the coloring sheet over afterwards and try to draw the scene themselves.
4. Culture Club
Studies indicate that role playing and dramatics fosters creativity and nurtures the imaginative mind. Form a culture club where your children can indulge in activities like singing, dancing and acting. All these activities involve thinking on their feet. Encourage the children to use improvisation in their performances. The idea is to have fun and not judge the children.
- Children can download music and lyrics from the websites and give performances. This boosts self-confidence.
- Children can also role play – act like a doctor or a chef. Imaginative play is a great way to let kids explore possibilities.
- Encourage the children to practice an instrument, try music from other countries, and hold jam sessions.
5. Learn a Second Language
Research indicates that learning a second language is challenging however introducing your child to the basics is fun and easy and will prepare the road. Children fluent in second languages are sharper, more productive and multitasking comes naturally to them. You can opt for Spanish or French. Adequate resources are available in a library. Children get to learn about the culture of that country like the customs, traditions and daily routines of the foreign country. It is fun to imagine places where they speak differently and do things differently. Learning another language gives them an opportunity to escape the mundaneness of normal life.
I love this quote by Albert Einstein, “Creativity is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.” Often times, creative ideas may seem strange at first. One of the best ways to encourage creative thinking in young children is to embrace the child’s creativity. Be sure you don’t discount it by laughing at their ideas or declaring that they are wrong. Approach their thought process with curiosity and open-ended questions. You will often find some interesting logic or creative thought behind what they say. In fact, this type of diverent thinking can lead to excellent creative problem-solving skills.
It is important to inspire children to be creative, imaginative and productive. Such children are self-confident and reach greater heights in life. We can easily foster such an environment at home. Try these ideas and let us know how you were able to engage your children to help kick the electronic gadget habit. Have fun creating things, talking about things, imagining things, and doing new things! Welcome all of their ideas. Which of these activities to encourage creativity do you think your child will enjoy most?