Many people assume that creativity is an inborn talent that kids either do or do not have. In reality, creativity is a skill more so than inborn talent, and it is a skill parents can help their kids develop. Creativity is not limited to artistic expression, it is also essential for science, math, and even social and emotional intelligence. Creative people are more flexible and better problem solvers, which makes them more able to adapt to technological advances and deal with change.
Here we have simple ways to nurture and stimulate your child’s thinking to build their resourcefulness, the ability to meet challenges, and acquire positive attitude toward problem solving.
1. Provide the resources they need for creative expression
The key resource is time and space that is unencumbered by adult direction or interference. Create a space that you don’t mind getting too messy, either in the home, backyard or garage. Instead of toys, next time someone asks for a gift suggestion for your kids, ask for things like art supplies, disposable cameras, or building materials.
2. Foster a creative atmosphere
In addition to a creative space, you also need to encourage different ideas where varying ideas and opinions are valued. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, specifically open ended ones. This will cultivate creative critical thinking and discussion. In some free time, brainstorm activities and solve problems together.
3. Let them explore
Let your child explore their ideas and creativity with some freedom and flexibility. Either that be in reading or hobbies and activities they enjoy. This will create a seed for them to grow and pursue their passions. Celebrate innovation and creativity with works of their own and works of others. Remember that kids make mistakes and mistakes are okay.
4. Avoid managing and negativity
Remember that these are ideas that revolve around encouragement and guidance, don’t be bossy or constraint them to what you believe to be right or most creative. Let them find their own way, it’s about facilitating not dictating. Avoid shaming or embarrassing children who experiment and especially discouraging phrases or negativity.
via Quinn and Fox
5. Take the time for your own creativity
Kids often copy actions and thinking from their parents, they might look to you for creative ideas. Be sure to enjoy the process with your child and join them in their activities if they want you to. There is never enough bonding and fun to be had in a household.
With these ideas, we hope you have a foundation to foster and encourage your child’s creativity. Remember, creativity is something money can’t buy and an invaluable skill that will turn brave children into brave adults.
Header image via Manio Clothing