Albert Einstein was a great believer in the power and importance of creativity! He was famously quoted as saying: “Imagination is more important than knowledge” and “Play is the highest form of research”.Although children are naturally creative, powerful innovators with strong imaginations, these qualities can shrivel and become less evident if every kid’s development is not actively nurtured.
Encouraging creativity and curiosity increases resourcefulness and the ability to present a positive attitude around problem solving. As this is a covetable lifelong skill, it is important not to turn creative opportunities into just another chore for children. As parents, we need to seed this wonderful ability, nurture and provide fertile conditions for our little one’s creativity to bloom. Here are a few tips…
- Designate a creative space. This does not have to be large, fancy, or expensive. Just a little corner of a room with some dress up clothes in a box, or a desk with plenty of crayons and paper will do the trick! Lego can also act as a great creativity aid.
- Make sure your child has some free, unstructured time for a few hours every day. This play time allows them to potter about and get creative, without time constraints or homework, just their fertile imaginations!
- Activate your child’s brain and senses whenever you can. This could be going to the library, a museum or getting out into the great outdoors with an outing to the park, a hike or a camping adventure. Exposing your kids to as much of the world as possible keeps those creative juices flowing, whilst encouraging new ideas and ways of thinking to emerge.
- Encourage behaviour that shows curiosity and the willingness to seek answers. You can boost brainstorming and problem-solving abilities by asking your child if there could be another way to do something or a different outcome to a situation. This will encourage your child to look at a problem or situation from a different angle.
- Avoid being controlling and telling your child what to do, what the answer is, or what the best way to do something is. By making mistakes, your child will learn far more than being told the ‘right’ way to do it by their parent.
- Resist perfectionism and trying to take over their creative projects. When you do this, you turn creative time into a chore for children, so respect the learning process!
- Laughter is a huge creativity booster and bonding activity. Praise your child’s sense of humour, let them know how they made you laugh. Laughing together is one of the greatest times of closeness.
- Children are encouraged when you get down on the floor and really play with them. They LOVE it when you show that you can make believe, too. Try to play or celebrate something with your child every day.
- Pay attention to your child’s interests and passions, and try to accommodate what they need to follow these. Whether it is a particular sport, dancing, music, art, or nature activity, try to incorporate it into the time for creativity and play.
Simply having an awareness of your child’s creativity and how you could unleash it will open your eyes to opportunities. So have fun, and don’t forget your own inner child along the way! We all have stories about how our children have surprised us with their amazing ability to see the world differently. Have you got a great story for us? Share it with us in the comments below, we would love to hear it!