I’m a pretty creative person and I always have been. As a child I loved to play with fabric scraps and create my own dolls, I loved to draw pictures, and I was always finding rocks or pieces of wood that looked like something else. I often made characters out of wooden spools, beads, cotton batting and twigs. My parents always took care to encourage creativity, even that time when I came home from grade 9 art class with a handmade clay mask that might have looked a bit demonic in retrospect.
Thanks to their encouragement as a child, I grew to be a creative adult and I owe this very blog to that trait. I’ve always felt my creativity is something inherited from my grandmother, who passed away several years before I was born. She loved to paint and she was quite good at it. I used to love painting too but it’s something I had to set aside once I had responsibilities. I am hopeful that some day I will have time again to pick up my paintbrush and paints again.
Now that I have my own girls I am careful to always allow them to be as creative as they want. It’s important to me that I do take the time encourage creativity in them both. At this age it simply means giving them crayons and some paper and letting them go wild (on the paper- wall art is forbidden.) I had made some chocolate pudding the other day and when Keira decided she didn’t like it I turned that into a bit of art class. Who doesn’t like painting with chocolate pudding?
If you have a creative child, or are creative yourself you know how wonderful this trait can be. Being creative can help your child come up with ideas and solutions for different problems, as well as help them play and even have more fun. Some children seem to be born creative, but even if that is not the case for your child you can still encourage them to develop creativity. If you want to encourage your child to be more creative, then these tips are for you! Check out a few different strategies you can use to help encourage creativity in your child.
In order to engage the creative part of your child’s brain, don’t be afraid to do a little bit of playing. Creativity and playing go hand in hand when it comes to your children, making play an integral part of developing this trait. To make playing more effective, participate in imaginative play with your kids, acting out favourite stories or characters or make up your own. The more you play and encourage your child to use their imagination, the more creative your child can be.
No matter what your child does, don’t scold them for making mistakes. Mistakes should be encouraged so that your child doesn’t feel afraid to try something new. There is no wrong way for a creative child to solve a problem, simply different ways. If your child feels safe enough to attempt something new, then their creativity will have room to grow.
Visit a Museum
If you want to encourage your child to be creative, then take a trip to your local museum. By going to the museum, you can show your child that there are many different types of art and ways to be creative. Famous artists and authors didn’t rise in fame by following all of the “rules” set before them. They branched out and tried something new.
When your child shows their creativity and tries something new, be sure to applaud their innovation. By giving them praise for their ideas, you are effectively encouraging your kids to branch out again and try a new approach to a situation or problem. The more you do this, the more creatively your children will respond to life.
Start Young without Limits
From the time your child can put a crayon to paper, let them! Provide plenty of paper with a wide array of colours. To go back to one of the other tips, do not discourage them when they use the “wrong” colours or when they colour outside the lines. Simply encourage them and let them know they are doing a wonderful job. Remember you can make art time anytime with a little improvisation on your own part and materials around your home.
Some examples from my own childhood you could try include making crocodile masks out of egg cartons, providing your children with large boxes to make their own playhouses from and let them keep it up for as long as you can stand it, give older children scraps of material and sewing necessities such as needles, threads and buttons. My parents also had a trunk full of dress up clothes that I adored playing make-believe with. It was simply old clothes, shoes and jewellery they no longer wore. There were even a couple of old Halloween masks.
Creativity is an important trait for your children to develop. How do you encourage your child to be creative?
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!