Being creative is not simply a gift some are born with and some are not. While natural aptitude does play its part, the activities young ones engage in as they grow up have been proven to have a great effect on how creative they are as adults. There is no limit to the benefits that being a creative person brings - from potential career options to being a better problem solver or simply being a happier, less stressed person. So here are a few ideas to get you started on boosting your little one’s creativity while you have the chance:
Start With Their Environment
If your little one is only a few months or years old, there may be limited activities with which you can engage them. So why not instead start with infusing their surroundings with creativity. With infants or toddlers, once you have purchased their cot, get creative with the decoration, with bright colours and designs, and also add vibrant pictures to the walls of the nursery. You can even attach toys and playthings to your child’s pram to keep them engaged and inquisitive throughout rides.
Get Back To Basics
Erin Gray from The Sunshine Collective, which specializes in creating educational activities for kids in preschool and primary schools, provides the following tip, demonstrating how parents can encourage their children’s creativity in the simplest, most oldschool of ways:
“Make a chatterbox. Spend 5 minutes googling it, if you can’t remember when you did it in primary school. All you need is a piece of paper and some pencils for your child to decorate and write on it. They’ll then take it to school, play it with siblings and friends. It’s amazing how quickly kids learn and remember how to make things - they’ll be able to recreate this over and over.”
Family Book Club
For children that are old enough to read, foster their love of books by making it a point to once a week (or more often if time allows it) sit down as a family and talk about the books you’ve read that week. This gives your child the opportunity to consolidate what they have learned & share their creative experience with the people that are closest to him or her. It’s the perfect environment for them to cultivate the culture of storytelling in a safe space without judgement.
Use Toys You Already Own
Julie Lang from Bricks 4 Kidz has a couple of ideas on how you can use simple toys or objects you probably already own to cultivate creativity with your little ones.
“Dolls and figurines: Set up unique scenarios by playing dolls and action figures with your child. Use the characters to play out problem-solving scenarios or practice social skills.
Science Scavenger Hunt: Collect small toys and place them in ice cube trays. Fill with a mixture of baking soda and water and freeze. Let kids discover what’s inside by pouring vinegar on the cubes and discuss the chemical reaction.”
Use Technology To Your Advantage
Nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to expanding your child’s mind and creativity. Anne-Marie Walton is the founder of the Wantu app, which presents the perfect way for busy parents to carve out quality time to spend creatively engaged with their little ones.
“The app will suggest short 15-30 minute activities tailored to your child or children’s age and development stage. The parent then selects 3 activities they would be happy to do and the app hides them in coloured balloons for the child to “pop” and feel in control of choosing their own activity. With our ever expanding selection of activities, parents will never have to worry about their kids getting tired of the same old games.
Wantu activities are specifically created to encourage and develop a variety of essential skills in growing children, ranging from creative thinking to fine/gross motor skills and many more.”
With all these new ideas, get excited to start engaging in new, fun creative ventures with your kids.