Most parents think that creativity is something your kid is born with—it either exists or not. Just like not all kids are communicative or equally intelligent, they are not all born with the same ability to be creative. However, that’s not entirely true. Creativity can be nurtured, practiced and encouraged just like any other skill and you as a parent can play a big part in your kids’ development of creativity. And since creativity has a huge role in every single part of our lives from kindergarten to school and our careers, it’s very important to encourage your kids to practice this skill. If you need a few tips and some guidance on how to boost your kids’ imagination and originality, here are a few ideas that will help.
Carve out a place for creativity
While kids can practice their creativity wherever you put them, it’s much easier to let imagination fly free when you’re somewhere private and safe. So, if you can, try to carve out a small space where your kids can be creative in peace. They definitely don’t need anything as fancy as a fully-equipped playroom. Just a tiny corner stacked with LEGOs, a box of toys and a pile of old clothing for dress-up will suffice. As long as your kid feels like they own and rule the space, their creativity will flourish.
Go back to basics
While kids certainly love to play with toys and search the internet for creative ideas (there’s nothing inherently bad with that), these activities don’t really exercise their creative thinking in the same way as sticks, tubes, magnets, marbles, office supplies, sand and water do. Pay more attention to what your kids do in their free time and what they use the most while playing. Then, try to swap close-ended objects for open-ended ones and see how their way of playing adapts to the new situation.
Just because you encourage your kids to use their imagination while playing, that doesn’t mean technology can’t be used in a good way to boost your kids’ creativity. Today, you can find all sorts of fun and useful educational toys that offer a world of possibilities for your kids. Just consider 3D pens: they can awaken your kids’ interest in technology, encourage them to create and imagine different things and use their hands in an active way. And these are not the only tech toys that can help you nurture your kids’ creativity. Tablets for drawing, different computer programs and virtual musical instruments can also attract kids and awaken little artists hiding inside.
Limit screen time
While removing screen time completely is practically impossible today, you can always limit it and control it better. There’s nothing bad in watching a cartoon on a Sunday morning or after a good day in school, but a lot of that time your kids spend in front of the TV or tablet can be spent drawing, playing with LEGOs or creating an obstacle course.
Teach them by model
What do you do in order to nurture your creativity? Do you put your creative energy into cooking? Or do you choose to sing in the shower, doodle, dance when cleaning or tend to your garden in a very artistic way? Kids watch their parents and imitate what they do, so if it’s been some time since you engaged in any creative activity, it’s time to set an example for your little ones. If you don’t really have any hobbies, think about your childhood and remember what used to make you happy. Try it with your kids and you’ll love sharing this activity with them.
Don’t criticize their mistakes
While being naughty on purpose is something you should put a stop to, unintentional failure is nothing to be criticized. Kids who are afraid to fail are less likely to think creatively and try to take up new activities. So, if you see your kid is feeling down due to their mistakes, encourage them to try again, change something or find a new way to approach a problem. Mistakes are nothing but opportunities to get better as long as you choose to learn from them.
If you encourage your kids to use their creativity, you will not only raise kids who are in touch with their spiritual side but also teach them to learn from their mistakes, try many different things and even become respected artists in the future.