How to Develop a Child’s Creativity
Posted on December 1, 2015 by CHS
Creativity benefits children by growing a sense of confidence, inspiring curiosity, helping to discover talents, expressing emotions, problem-solving, and providing a feeling of achievement. With all of today’s technology and vast array of life-like toys, the need for imaginative play is diminished.
As a parent or caregiver, you have the opportunity to develop creative skills in children of any age.
Here are 10 simple ways to foster creativity:
- Provide Time & Supplies - Give children non-toxic art materials like paper, crayons, tape, stickers, markers, popsicle sticks, string, and other safe household items for your child to experiment with. Be sure to make consistent time for your child to draw and create.
- Don’t Give Instructions - Don’t give your child a project, specific piece of art to create, or object to draw. Simply let them explore with the tools you’ve given them, and let their imagination run freely without worrying about whether they’re doing it “right” or “wrong.”
- Compliment Their Creation - Ask about what they’re making/drawing and compliment certain aspects, such as “I love those bright colors you’re using.” Don’t focus on labeling or exact questions such as “Is that a dog? Or a horse?” Instead simply say, “Please tell me about your picture.”
- Therapeutic Art - When your child is experiencing intense emotions, particularly frustration or anger, have her draw a picture to express what she’s feeling and help calm her down.
- Make a Mess – Allow children to be messy. That doesn’t mean allowing marker drawings all over the family room wall, but it does mean creating a place where it is okay to be messy. Designate a play room, backyard space, or a table in the kitchen where they can spread out toys and art. Let their imagination roam without too many boundaries.
- Tell Stories - Rather than an evening movie or bedtime book that requires little creative thinking, sit with your child and have him tell you a story of his own. Or start a story for him, and then ask him to add on to it.
- Show it Off - Display your child’s art projects and crafts on the refrigerator or a shelf, to celebrate and show the value of their creative endeavors.
- Limit Electronics – Set limits on the time your child spends in front of the TV, playing video games, and using tablets/cell phones.
- Support Your Child’s Interests – If they love dinosaurs, buy them some coloring books about dinosaurs; if they love music, buy a toy piano or guitar for them to try out.
- Use the 5 Senses - Engage multiple senses at once through activities like helping you bake. When children help cook or bake food, they can see, smell, taste, and touch all at once.
Creative Play Ideas:
- Nature Books: Go for a short family walk after dinner. After the walk, invite your child to draw something they saw. Staple the drawings together to make a nature book.
- Building: Collect empty boxes, paper towel rolls, plastic lids, etc. Add some strong tape, crayons or markers, and child-safe scissors to these items. Encourage your child to create something with the recycled materials.
- Dancing: Put on some music and dance! Your child will love to learn some of your dance moves and you can work together to create new dances. This is not only creative, but healthy exercise too!
- Creating: Make your own playdough and pretend to be sculptors.
Additional Helpful Resources: