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Every child is born with talents, but the biggest problem is tapping into them to reveal them to the world. Creative minds are innovators and game changers, which is why we encourage supporting creativity during early childhood.
20 Ways to Foster Creativity in Children
You don’t need fancy toys or a lot of money to kick start the creative process in kids. Here are 20 ways by which you can encourage creativity in children:
1. A Creative Space
No, you don’t need a giant mansion or fork out lots of money to give your kids their personal space to nurture their creativity. Just keeping simple things they like, like boxes, crates, and building blocks are enough to get them started.
2. Play with Them
Ask your child how to do cool tricks, or to teach you how to play whatever it is they’re currently playing. As you learn how to play with them, they get more immersed in their games, and flesh out new characters, plots, and storylines, thus making things more creative and interesting.
3. Free Time
Give your kids some free time every day to explore their interests. A little silence and downtime is sometimes just the thing little ones need to summon their inner geniuses.
4. Explore the Outside World
Take them out to walks in the park or to the local library or museum, and ask them to imagine what it would feel like to travel back in time, or how the animals in another country look like. Family excursions to the zoo and trips to the amusement park bring zest into their lives.
5. Talk About Creativity
Ask your kids when they feel the most creative or in-tune with themselves. Are there specific triggers that kick start their imaginative brains? For example, keeping a sketchbook inside the car may prompt a bit of a doodling session while travelling to school, or maybe they feel their creative best when you’re playing the radio or feeling the cold air during the night.
6. Problem-Solve and Innovate
Encourage them to jot down their thoughts on paper or doodle their ideas through brainstorming sessions for solving problems. You can even use a bit of mind-mapping to see the big picture and get the gist of it.
7. Avoid Over-Parenting
Don’t impose on them too much, and try to avoid dictating or managing their creative process. Let your kids play on their own, and don’t force them to join clubs or participate in activities if they don’t want to.
8. Promote Their Passions
If your kid wants to learn photography, but is bad at it, don’t discourage him. Let him fail, let him grow. That’s how a trustworthy parent helps. Encourage passions, never discourage, and you’ll soon enough understand the importance of creativity for children when you see the transformation.
9. Be Creative
Sometimes, kids need role models for pursuing their creative aspirations. As parents, we recommend you take up a hobby or try something creative yourself to inspire your little ones. This will not only provide great opportunities for bonding, but also make your kids feel safe and turn you into someone they can confide in and look up to.
10. Don’t Judge
Never judge, and always let them experiment. Sometimes your kids may come up with murky ideas, and that’s a good thing! Creativity isn’t always sunshine and rainbows; sometimes it’s dark, grey, and the different shades in between!
11. Do Not Give Material Rewards
Let your child be creative and motivated, just for experiencing those “feel-good” emotions. Don’t make creativity systematic, but rather, organic.
12. Provide Resources
If your child’s a budding artist, buy him a set of crayons or the essentials he needs. Remember not to spoil the kids too much by buying too many things, since that may lead to feeling overwhelmed, procrastination, and stagnation. Moderation is key.
13. Encourage Creativity
If your child’s never tried new things, it’s time to introduce them to those worlds. Encourage your child to pick up drawing, playing chess, sports and any other activities. They’re young, and it’s the best time to expose them to the various wonders of the world!
14. Appreciate Failures
If your child fails, don’t care too much. Don’t put up too many expectations and let him try his best at whatever he does. Whether kids put in too much effort or too little, creativity has no golden set of rules. Remember that, and appreciate the process instead.
Challenge your kids by questioning their perspectives and asking them to prove you wrong. See how they reach conclusions and how they begin analysing from different angles. If there’s a problem they’re good at fixing, ask them to come up with new solutions.
16. Appreciate Their Creativity
Did your child just draw an awesome picture or paint his first marks? Hang it up in the family bedroom or the refrigerator. Show off kids’ works to siblings, and speak enthusiastically about them. They’ll feel appreciated and explore their creativity that way.
17. Provide Inspiration
Show your kids documentaries, take them to movies, read out stories, teach them how to cook or even take them on trips to art galleries and toy museums to get them inspired. It can become the boost they need to pursue their passions or fall in love with something fascinating.
18. Observe Them
Observe other kids while travelling and notice what your child stares at or daydreams out. Maybe that will give a clue on what their passions or interests may be, thus giving you a format or platform to kick start their creativity.
19. Have Fun
The key to creativity is having fun. If your kids feel frustrated or bored trying something new, gently encourage them and remind them to have fun. What made them fall in love with it in the first place? Remind them of that.
20. Mix with Others
Sometimes, mixing with other kids and getting exposed to different ideas and viewpoints may just be the kick start your kid needs. Encourage kids to socialize, go out with friends, and have fun, whenever it’s possible. They’ll love you for it.
The key to creativity is freedom of exploration. Be open-minded, flexible, curious, and positive, and your kid will surely notice these traits in you. After all, you wouldn’t be here reading this article if you weren’t a cool and awesome parent. Kudos to that!