Children are natural innovators and have powerful imaginations. It’s no wonder then that they always have a trick or two up their sleeves. While it’s true that just like not all children are born equally intelligent, not all children are born equally creative. However, children can be skilled to become creative.
Creativity is the key to success- whether personal or professional, unless one isn’t creative, one cannot thrive and that’s even more true for children. Creativity isn’t just restricted to arts and music but is also crucial for the learning of science, math, and social studies and for developing emotional intelligence.
It is believed that creative children are better at taking advantage of new opportunities, solving problems and are also more flexible. They are also better at adapting technology and deal with changes around them.
According to researchers, today’s technology has completely altered the way children think creatively. Children are mostly on mobile these days watching shows or playing games. They are watching TV all the time. The new generation of advanced toys has limited their thinking capacity to the extent that children no longer imagine sticks as swords or paper shreds as currencies because toy swords and toy currencies are available. The easy availability of toys in various shapes and designs has impacted the way children think creatively.
Creativity can improve a child’s life in many ways. From helping do daily chores at home to solving complex mathematical problems at school, creativity is quite literally essential to everything that they need to be successful in life.
How to Encourage Creativity in Children
As written earlier, children can be creative from the start, however, as parents, you need to help them realize their creativity. Here are nine ways to encourage your child to be creative.
One of the easiest ways to encourage creativity is to ask questions. When your child asks for help to solve something—homework, coloring or even craft—don’t jump to help him/her immediately. Instead, ask them about their opinions and thinking. Complement all ideas. Don’t restrict to stop them. Ask lots of questions while at home, while walking or driving. No question is big or small. Ask them questions like what is the color of the sky? What is the color of the flower? What bird is that? Which car brand is that? Hear all answers and pat them on the back for every answer.
- Do Easy Work Together
Involve your child in washing your car or scooter, watering the plant, cutting fruits or vegetables, sorting dry fruits from the assorted dry fruit bag, counting currency notes or coins or other things. Watch the ingenuity with which your child does these things. You will be amazed after watching them come up with innovative ways to do these.
- Give Them Enough Time
Children need a lot of time for imaginative and unstructured play. As adults, you must stay away from them when they are playing.
- Give Them Space
Your child needs space to get creative. Dedicate a room in your home separately for your child to make a creative mess. Give your child everything they need- paintings, chalk and board, clay, paper and pencil, lego toys or just about anything they need.
- Encourage New Ideas
Ask your child everything he/she has done or imagined so far. Encourage them to come up with new things they have not done earlier. Don’t point or tell them if any idea isn’t implementable and don’t decide which ideas are good. Your focus should always be on the creative aspect of the ideas you child is coming up with.
- Gift Art and Craft Materials
The next time you want to gift your child on their birthday or other occasions, gift them things like art supplies, costumes, toy building materials or stationery. Put these in easy-to-open box or bag that your kids can manage.
- Encourage Them to Make Mistakes and Fail
Kids are afraid of failing. They fear being reprimanded by elders or siblings. But you should encourage them to make mistakes and fail. They also fear that by failing they will not be creative. Tell them failures and mistakes are how people learn. Tell them about own failures and how you overcame it.
- Introduce Them To Newer Things
As your child grows older, you must introduce him/her to things you like. Play the music you like, introduce them to the music of your favorite band, show them your favorite movies, show them how to use twitter or read news website. Gift them a musical instrument or a children’s camera. All these play a major role in sparking the early fire of creativity in them.
- Show Your Creativity
While you should allow kids to show their creativity, you should also show them how creatively and differently you would do something. This will help them to get an idea of your thought process. You must take the lead in showing them how important creativity is to you. We are our children’s first role models, so when we can show them how important creativity is for us, they will learn to value it. Start with something simple-something as simple as drawing, building lego and blocks, dancing, solving a puzzle or any simple game.
You should nurture your child’s imagination from early childhood itself. When they say something they think is right, offer encouragement for their creativity and imagination. Never say no to anything they imagine. After all, they are just kids and full of ideas that pop up in the head every now and then.