Quick Links | WOW Parenting
Simple ways to boost your child’s creativity
What does it mean to be creative? Often times it is much more than just being an artist. Here are five ways to unleash your child’s creative side.
Creativity is about problem-solving, flexibility, exploring and being open to new ideas. It’s not just about the arts, it’s a set of tools for a lifetime. Setting the home stage to allow for creativity and creative thinking is not just a good idea, it’s a lot of fun.
Creative thinking is a big concept and it’s something you can boost your child’s life with a few simple actions at home. While you can’t force your children to be creative or engage in the arts, you can give your children physical, emotional and intellectual space and the creative tools to boost their spirits. Whether your child ends up an artist, a physicist or a lawyer, creative thinking will benefit him for a lifetime.
Turn off the television: Television is handy for a few minutes when you need to keep your child occupied and there are some great educational shows too. But there’s a reason it’s called the “idiot box.” It should be off more often than it is on!
Keep the arts and crafts cabinet stocked: Always have your arts and crafts stash with age-appropriate materials. Whether or not your child is ‘artistic’, an arts and craft isn’t always about a specific result, it’s about experimentation. Sometimes exploring a material is just about seeing how it works and what happens when you hold five crayons all together.
Let there be some clutter and mess: We all like a clean house, but low-level clutter can trigger creativity. In the less-than-perfectly-put-together house, there are patterns to be seen and connections to be made. Random things near each other may lead to a new idea for your child’s play or to some idea for, well, anything. The LEGOS do not need to be perfectly sorted and out-of-sight; your child (and you) need to see what’s there to make the connections.
Brainstorm together: Creativity doesn’t stop when the crayons or toys are put away. At the dinner table, in the car, anywhere, brainstorm with your child. Start a conversation with, “What if?” What if… you took a different road home? What if… the sky were green? What if… asparagus was candy? What if… we could go to the moon for vacation? There’s no right or wrong, there’s just possibility.
Allow for failure: In order to succeed you must be willing to fail first. Not every effort is going to be successful and your child’s life will not be perfect. There’s often more than one way to get from point A to point B! As much as you want to protect your child from hurt, it’s not reality. Learning to cope with failure or disappointment can encourage your child to creatively problem solve for a different solution. And it might be even better than the original desired outcome!