Creativity for kids is an important aspect just like that of adults and children alike. There are many reasons why kids need creativity for their development. In children, most of the creativity is brought to light through their key activity – play.
Why Creativity for Kids is Essential?
- Creativity is the process of thinking of new approaches to solving an existing problem or the art of creating something new.
- Creativity can also be considered as the ability to turn imagination into reality.
- A key advantage of creativity for your child is that it fosters the art of self expression.
Tips to Enhance Creativity for Kids
There are various ways that you can stimulate your child's creativity and help her think out of the box. It may be interesting to note that some ways to do this are through normal day to day activities.
- Give your child some simple jig saw puzzles. Allow her to try out the puzzle for himself. Do not barge in and spoil the fun by showing her the right way to fit it if she goes wrong in the first attempt.
- Provide your child with some play dough in various colours. She will enjoy moulding them into shapes and colours. Do not be surprised if she creates a blue cat out of imagination.
- Help your child get involved in activities that interest her, such as drawing, painting, constructing with building blocks and so on.
- Allow your child to be messy occasionally. Maintaining cleanliness always, can sometimes curtail creativity in cases like drawing, painting etc.
- Help your children explore nature. Take her for trips to the zoo or get her to join you in gardening. This will help her observe the various animals and colourful plants.
- Ask your child the various ways a simple household object such as a newspaper can be used. This helps her build on her imagination skills.
- Provide the same opportunities multiple times. Your child may tackle the same opportunity a different way each time she faces it.
- Show your child how to prepare a scrap book by cutting out interesting pictures from old magazines and newspapers using a pair of child safe scissors.
- When your child asks a question, instead of providing the answer as a statement, guide her to the answer using a question and answer format.
- If she shows an interest in collecting any specific object like shells from a beach, show her how to make a craft with it or design something new altogether.
- Read stories to your child about how great people faced problems and how they overcame them creatively. You can also make her bedtime stories more imaginative than how they are illustrated in her books.
- Joining your child for a few singing and dancing games is a great way of boosting her creativity.
- Encourage your child to come up with solutions for day to day problems.
- Tell your child to point to an interesting object and ask her to imagine herself as that object.
- Allowing your child to make decisions for herself helps in building on her creativity. Accept her decision if it seems reasonable and there is no harm involved.
- Language is a good tool in enhancing your child's creativity. Play a word game like matching words. Ask her to tell you a couple of words that rhyme such as cat and rat.
- Play a family game with the story telling session. Start telling a story and stop part way through. Ask another family member to take over. Allow the child to add her contribution. Adding each member's thoughts can make the story really funny and interesting.
- Get your child to help you in the meal preparation process with simple tasks such as adding the food colouring agent or salt in the food.
- Ask your child various What IF questions that require creative thinking. For example, a funny question you can ask her is “What do you think will happen if elephants had no trunks?”. Similarly, ask “What Changes” questions such as “What change would you like to do to your toy bus?
- When your child comes to you with a problem, encourage her to act it out to you.
- Give your child an object such as a ball and ask her in how many different ways she can throw the ball.
- Allow your child to carry out a creative activity. As you do this, let her tell you at each stage what she is doing. This way you can follow your child's thoughts process.
- Ask your child to draw objects in colours other than their standard ones. For example, ask her to draw you a yellow rabbit.
- Show your child creative assignments carried out by others. Discuss with her about what factors the creator would have considered as he went about the creation.
- Allow your child to do her activity the way she wants to. Do not insist on perfection. It is important for her to carry out her activity by herself using her creative ideas.
- Ask your child questions that have a lot of answers such as “In what ways can you use water?”.
- Offer to guide your child only when she asks you for it and resist the urge to criticise.
- Help your child understand how wonderful it is to be unique and different from others in at least one aspect. Give your child some examples of unique people such as Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and so on.
Barriers to Creativity for Kids
Some common barriers to creativity faced by children are:
- Lack of stimulating environment
- Strict parenting principles
- No motivation from parents
- Peer pressure or fear of being rejected
- Rigidity in following routines
- Lack of self-confidence
- Fear of self-expression
Remember that creativity in your child is not a pastime. It is an ongoing activity that helps your child to discover herself.