People typically assume that creativity is just an inborn talent that either a kid does or doesn’t have. However, the fact of the matter is that children are not equally intelligent, and are not equally creative either. Speaking in general, creativity is more skill than inborn talent, and it’s a skill parents can help their kids develop.
Considering that creativity is a key to success in just about any endeavor an individual takes on, it’s a rather core skill that must be practiced with and developed in kids. Also, what must be mentioned here is that creativity is not limited to artistic and musical expression - it’s also essential for science, math, and even social and emotional intelligence. Creative individuals are amazing problem solvers and have flexible personalities, which makes it easier for them to adapt to deal with change. Considering all these benefits, here are a few tips that will assist you in fostering creativity in your child:
7 Give your children the resources they need to express their creativity
The most important resource that you need to provide to your kids in this regard is time. The fact of the matter is that kids require a lot of time for child-directed, unstructured and imaginative play that remains unencumbered by adult direction.
Another essential resource that your kids will require is that of space. If you don’t want to deal with creative messes here and there around your place, it’s best for you to give them a specific place where they can make a mess, like room in your attic for dress-up, a place in the garage for painting, or a corner in your family room for Legos.
Also, when someone asks for gift suggestions for your kids, recommend things like cheap cameras, art supplies, building materials and costume components. Put these in easy-to-deal-with bins that your kids can manage.
Give your kid a superhero identity
Children want to have super powers, so you should go ahead and challenge your kids to create their own superhero persona. The thing with children is that they love to transform themselves into character that they can act out in imaginative play. Ask your kids about the super powers they want to have and what superhero they would choose. Once done, draw out a superhero logo and use scraps of material to create an outfit for them.
6 Read to your kids
This one’s pretty obvious, right? The more stories that your children listen to, the more their imagination is going to be stimulated. Also, with time, you could get your kids to tell you stories too. When they do that, you are sure to notice that their stories will bear strong resemblances to the ones that you’ve been telling them over time. However, there will typically be elements of more than one story.
This is just what creativity is all about and entails making associations between varying ideas so as to come up with something totally different. Also, when your children start reading and writing, make it a point to ask them to write out their stories and illustrate them as well.
Also, do not respond to your kids’ boredom by making them indulge in structured activities or technological entertainment. By allowing them to spend their time working on unstructured time challenges, you will present your kids with the opportunity to engage with themselves and the world in order to imagine new things, invent and create something totally amazing.
You should also allow them to explore their inner and outer world and respond to their complaints of boredom by helping them brainstorm about possible activities, but make it clear that it’s their job to figure out how to enjoy their own time.
Something to remember
It’s highly recommended for you to prevent your kids from depending on the TV or computer for entertainment purposes. Kids who regularly use the TV or computer are more likely to feel bored than other kids, and even after eliminating the habit it can take months for them to find other activities they feel passionate about.
5 Let your children be different
Original and inventive kids are usually considered 'different’ by other kids. Heck, they may even be called wacky or just plain odd. Don’t try to suppress your children if they are different. Instead, make it okay for them to be out of step with the norms of their peer group. This way, you will show your children that it is alright for them to be unique. Remember, in order to develop their individualities, your children need you to support them against the pressures placed on them by popular culture.
With that, it will first be necessary for you to confront your own fears about your children not growing up to be overly popular. At that high school reunion, your kids may end up being the nerds that became self-made millionaires!
Allow your kids to experiment with manageable messes
Let your children experiment with manageable messes that they can later help clean up. This includes things like water colors or chalk on the sidewalk, water on the kitchen floor and bubbles on the porch etc.
4 Pretend play
By the time your children are about 18-months-old, they will start being interested in ‘pretend play’. It may start out with pretending to drink tea out of a toy cup or even using a banana as a phone. But as your kids grow older with the passage of time, their pretend play is going to become a whole lot more sophisticated.
Whatever type of pretend play they engage in, whether it’s charging up and down the stairs pretending to be dinosaurs or dancing around playing princesses, it’s all good. To show your appreciation, join in with their game and make them feel that their ideas are important!
In order to foster their creativity, it’s highly recommended for you to let your kids help you out in the kitchen. Yes, you may not find cooking to be very creative, but putting two ingredients together to make a third new flavor is creativity in action
3 Stop being a clean freak
Kids who live in households with a strong focus on neatness have largely been found to be less creative. This is basically associated with their fear of things like getting their hands dirty, living by way too many rules and even the fact that they aren’t allowed to leave their art supplies visible. Neatness is seriously overrated at times!
If your force your children to experience frequent limits, there is a good chance that you will make them think inside the box. Yes, you should teach them about safety issues, but otherwise, it’s best for you to let him see and experience the world as a place full of possibilities.
Don’t stress too much on productivity
If your children do art only to receive positive comments from their adults, they may find it hard to stop themselves from finishing another picture as you may have enforced productivity instead of quality on them. As long as you affirm how amazingly they are working at a said picture, there will no longer be a need for them to rush through to the next one.
2 Provide them with a political platform
This particular initiative is going to assist your kids in acquiring the abilities required to debate over different aspects of life, hold arguments and even do creative things like create slogans and posters. Yes, I know your kids may be too young to vote, but you can get them started on a political campaign by holding your own elections.
Suggest two child-friendly opposing topics (i.e. Candy Land vs. Monopoly, cats vs. dogs, ice cream vs. Popsicles) and have two children choose which topic each would like to represent. Talk about the debates that happen during a campaign and create posters, slogans, and arguments to illustrate why one choice is better than the other one.
The final task
Once you’re done with all that, hold a campaign at home for about a week and then set aside a day to have a real debate and have friends or family members as the audience.
1 Get those cameras rolling!
Yep, another outstanding initiative that you can take to foster creativity in your kids is to bring Hollywood straight to your living room. For this, you will need to put together a TV show along with your kids – something like a sports program or a comedy sketch. Work with your kids and create a name, write dialogue for an episode or segment and even get them to outline a basic concept.
If need be, you also have the option to assign specific roles to each family member. For instance, if you’re the scriptwriter, your partner can be the director whereas the kids can be the camera operator and actor etc. Next, start using a video camera to film scenes from the script to get things going.
Let it all go
Do not hesitate in shooting retakes or in altering the script to make all those scenes come to life. If you want, you can even shoot a music video with your kids where they can help write the lyrics and design costumes!