Children are full of unharnessed creativity. The way they invent their own games and find explanations for the things that are beyond them? I personally believe that their perpetually excitable state is as a result of the new discoveries they make every moment; within themselves and in their environment.
Some children are child prodigies in some activity or the other, their talents are obvious and they evolve rapidly. Others are not so obvious and they may display several talents at the same time; but no child is ordinary.
A child’s creativity starts with their method of thinking and problem solving. Daily challenges to expand their reasoning and understanding of the world, along with an encouraging environment allows for a child to become more confident of their views and opinions. There are a number of ways to develop child creativity, most of which can be incorporated into daily life.
1. Allow your child to make simple choices, such as what to eat for dinner or where to go on a weekend. This encourages them to think independently, exercising an important aspect of creativity.
2. Encourage independence from caregivers and media. A child that is constantly entertained by others or the television will struggle to find things to do on their own without access to media.
3. Provide items in your child’s environment to stimulate their imagination. Drawing supplies, blocks, books, and random craft supplies can all contribute to elaborate dramatic play schemes.
4. Brainstorm different uses for items with your child. For example, a cardboard tube can be a telescope, tower, or person. Validate all of your child’s ideas, praising him or her for such an impressive imagination.
5. Ask your child open-ended questions to stretch their understanding and help them to postulate ideas.
- Ask your child “what if” questions. “What if people could fly?” “What if people lived in space?” “What if dolphins walked on land?”
- Involve your child in figuring out ways to make an improvement upon something. “How can we clean up the living room faster?” “How could we get water to the flowers without spilling any?” “What could we do to make the ball bounce higher?”
- Being read a book is an excellent opportunity for a child to exercise their creativity. Ask your child what could happen next, or how a character feels (and why).
6. Play with your child. Work together to establish dramatic play scenarios, using substitute items for props when needed. Pretend play allows for children to imagine life from a different perspective, an important building block of creativity.
7. Be prepared for “messy play.” While it may seem that your child is playing in the mud simply to make more work for you, in fact there is a great deal that is learned by playing with such things. When they are finished playing, make it a rule that they have to help clean up. If faced with the choice of getting messy then cleaning it up and not getting messy at all, almost all children will choose the former option.
8. Engage in story telling. Start a story and take turns building upon it. Follow your child’s lead in what the mood of the story should be. Expect most stories to be more on the silly, impossible side. Since this is just a story, no idea is too far-fetched.
In summary, it is important to encourage creativity in your child with these and other methods. This will reduce the probability of them being late bloomers, or worse never blooming.
Have you tried any of the above before and had results? Or do you have another method not listed that has worked for you? Do share your own method(s) in the comment box
Happy Children’s Day!
Hat Tip: wikiHow