To coincide with National Tell A Fairytale Day, today’s tip is all about unleashing your child’s creativity. They say a creative child grows into a creative adult, but how do we encourage our children to open up their imaginations and develop their creative potential during early childhood?
Creativity can't be taught but it can be encouraged. Teaching your child to think outside the box, to delve deep into their imagination, and to develop a creative side are life long skills that will benefit them in every aspect of their lives - socially, emotionally, academically, and professionally!
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are the three most important skills a child will need to thrive. So read on for our tips to unlock your child's creative potential.
Here are 5 ways to help unlock the creativity bug!
1. Indulge Their Interests
Young children have the tendency to flit from one interest to another at the drop of a hat. As irritating as that can be for the parents, it’s important to allow your child the space to explore different interests and try out different things. If one day they dream of being an international soccer star and want to play soccer, let them try! If by the following week they’ve instead decided that acting is their destiny, let them develop their interest in that. It doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune entertaining their whims, but don’t hold them back either. It’s totally normal for a child to have fleeting interests and it’s also an important part of their development too. They grow and learn from every exposure as they are introduced to different skills, people, opportunities and situations.
2. Less Screen Time, More Playtime
Screen time, especially now, has hit an all-time high. While technology is undoubtedly an asset, it’s important to provide your children with opportunities to have tech-free unstructured playtime. Mix it up – if your child is full of energy, go and play outside, if they’re feeling bored, help them build a fort out of blankets. How about you put on a play with funny voices and make costumes out of things you find around the house? Or take turns telling funny stories, or bake some crazy colored cookies? Read a book or make up a fairy tale! If your child enjoys writing, have them write you a story - about anything they want! Just let loose and have some fun! The opportunities are endless!
3. Pretend Play
Fantasy or pretend play is a fun way for kids to explore their imaginations. Creative play is an important part of your child’s growth and development and Toys like the Kid's Cleaning Kit or Doctor’s Kit or Tool Set are great ways to develop language skills, fine & gross motor skills, social & emotional skills, thinking skills, and obviously imagination skills! Maybe switch roles for the afternoon - let your child be the parent or the teacher, and you be the child or the student! Pretend to be animals or characters from their favorite movie!
4. The Arts
Drawing, painting, acting, singing and dancing – art allows for creative expression. You don’t have to be the next Picasso to try your hand at painting. It doesn’t matter whether your child is necessarily talented or not. It’s the participation, the trying, and the exposure that’s important. It’s a fantastic outlet for them to be expressive and to create things from their imagination.
5. Experiments & Curiosity
Encourage your child’s curiosity. Do they want to know what happens when they mix different colored soaps and shampoos together? Give them an empty bottle and let them try! Do they want to see what happens when they mix a certain ingredient with another? Well, maybe don’t not risk ruining the whole meal to experiment but portion some aside and try out different things. Answer their questions – no matter how many there are! If you don’t know the answer, have fun figuring out the answer together. A child’s curiosity is used to help them process information and to form their own conclusions.
Click here to read last week's Parenting Tip of The Week about Validating Your Child's Feelings.