In this technologically driven era, it seems that kids want to plant their faces in screens rather than engage in the world around them. The screens in front of them often hinder their ability to be imaginative and artistic. I don't know about you, but I don't want my kids to lose that spark of creativity. Encouraging them to engage in creatively stimulating activities, promotes healthy brain development, and sets the foundation for a future of healthy productivity and innovation.
My 7yo oozes creativity. She has a vivid imagination and loves to tell stories, make things, and explore. Allowing her to create does wonders for her attitude and her esteem. That translates into a desire to do better in other areas (i.e. academics) as well. With that in mind, I thought I'd share some tips on how to nurture creativity in kids.
How to Nurture Creativity in Kids
- First and foremost listen to your child and be receptive to their preferences and desires. Guide or suggest new, creative activities based on their interests.
- Actively take part in the activities you encourage. Some activities they may prefer to do independently (i.e. painting a masterpiece). When that is the case, provide them the space and opportunity, while you encourage them.
- Be spontaneous and mix up the routine occasionally so your child will not come to depend on a rigid, inflexible structure. Part of being creative involves the ability to adapt and respond positively to change or unpredictable situations.
- Be willing to invest in the supplies or equipment that will foster creative thinking. For example, if your child is like mine, having an assortment of acrylic paints, paintbrushes, and DIY canvases available when they want to create will assure them that they can be creative spontaneously.
- Also, as they grow, allow them to take artistic lessons or classes so they can be instructed by a professional and have opportunities to meet other kids with similar interests.
- Read stories to your child and expose them to the idea of fictitious characters and settings.
- Encourage them to make up their own stories, role play, or host a puppet show. Encourage your child to make the rules or establish the groundwork for a given activity.
- Purchase board games or card sets that require active conversation, quick thinking, and teamwork.
As difficult as it sounds, allow your child an appropriate level of freedom and independence, even if that means they must make mistakes or fail. Creativity blossoms when children must learn how to solve problems without someone stepping in to save them.
Always offer your child compliments and praise when they achieve goals or succeed in a creative task.
They will abound with creativity and self-confidence when their actions are affirmed as positive or admirable. After all, a very wise lady by the name of Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
By the way, my daughter actually sold the canvas she painted, so now she's a paid artist. ;)