Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not strictly innate, it’s a skill just like any other than needs to be inspired, incentivized, and nurtured to fruition. In fact, creativity stems from a child’s inherent need for exploration and discovery, which is exactly why it’s so important for a young child to experience the world around them through learning, playing, and good old unencumbered fun.
Sadly, nowadays children of all ages tend to grow up in front of a smartphone screen, staring into the mass media portal like the world around them doesn’t even exist. This might be a good way to get them to calm down so you can get things done, but it’s a poor way to nurture their developing minds and inspire them to flourish into something truly unique. Here are five real ways to foster creativity in your kids.
Let the written word enchant their hearts and minds
Reading and writing is an integral part of development, in adults and children alike. Humans are natural storytellers, and your child possesses the ability to craft enchanting stories of their own, if only they had a solid basis to kick-start their creative process. This is where early reading and writing comes in.
By turning the process of learning into a game, you can effortlessly teach your child how to read and write well before their peers, and more importantly, how to use writing to express their creativity fully. Start by reading to them frequently, using your own storytelling prowess to inspire them to want to read, and eventually, start to put their own creative thoughts to paper.
Provide adequate encouragement
Children react to the world around them, they are able to imagine whole new worlds and complex stories with nothing but a tiny sword or a doll in their hand, but they can get bored quite quickly. Approaching the challenge of incentivizing creativity should be done with a plan in order to keep your kids interested and always on the go.
To achieve this, your children need plenty of different stimulants on a daily basis – in their living environment as well as outside. Start by equipping their rooms with creativity zones that inspire a certain type of activity. This can be a reading nook, an arts & crafts nook, a science area by the window (with a telescope pointed at the stars), and of course, a big area in the middle for playing.
Provide early socialization and learning
While there are plenty of ways you can nurture their creativity in the comfort of your home, it’s important to remember that healthy child development requires plenty of socialization, interaction, and experienced direction. This is why enrolling your kids in a creative early learning centre can help them not only develop the necessary social skills for a healthy and happy adulthood, but also learn how to become lifelong learners.
In the hectic modern world, this can also be a great way to alleviate some of the stress and pressure of tending to your children’s needs all by yourself, oftentimes having to struggle to find the energy to provide the exact encouragement for learning and creativity they need. Instead, they can enjoy a structured program in a setting that’s designed to inspire their hearts and minds to grow.
De-structure your play-time
Life is full of rules we have to abide by, but that doesn’t mean that everything in your child’s life should be about following a set of rules, but rather it should be about freedom, self-expression, and unadulterated fun. That’s sometimes throwing out the rulebook is a great way for the kids to start thinking more “outside the box”.
You can do this in a variety of ways, such as letting them build whatever they want out of their Lego block instead of having a plan, or paint a coloring book they way they want – if the entire page has to be orange, let it be orange. These kinds of unencumbered play sessions can really help them discover their true talents, and pave the road for true self-expression.
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that every child is unique. So why impose other people’s norms on their developing minds instead of letting them express who they really are? Yes, kids need healthy direction, but that doesn’t mean that they should paint a tree brown and green every single time – let it be purple or blue, it will be all right.
Children are creative creatures, you just need to kick-start their creative process for them while they’re super young. Not only that, but as a parent, you need to constantly provide your kids with the right stimulus every single day in order for that creative process to become an inextricable part of their very existence.