In such a rapidly developing world, creativity is quickly becoming a sought-after trait. Did you know that creative thinking promotes self-actualization, independent thought, and problem solving? Even though everyone already has some level of creativity, it is something that can be encouraged and developed. In other words, it does not matter whether or not your child has demonstrated a strong sense of creativity in the past. You can still help to encourage creative behaviors in your daily life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get the creativity flowing in your home.
Supporting Creativity at Home
- Provide your child with a "creative space". Make sure this is somewhere the child is comfortable and can find the freedom to create.
- Provide materials for your child to play around with. Musical instruments, Legos, and dress-up items all encourage children to participate in active play. Garage sales can be great places to find inexpensive items that your child can use to spark his imagination.
- Model creativity in front of your child. Let them see you being goofy and trying new things. Part of being creative is doing things that no one else does, so it can be scary for young children. If you take risks and model creativity in front of your child, they can see that it is okay to take a chance and try something new.
- When your child does something creative, show them that you value their creative work by displaying their creations throughout the house. Have them share their ideas with you, but try not to evaluate their work. Creativity sometimes takes practice! The more they create, the more creative they will become, so do not worry if their work is pretty standard at first.
- Expose your child to other people's creativity. When possible, take your child to museums, movies, plays, and galleries. Show them famous works of art and share with them creative lyrics. Surround your child with creative works to inspire creativity in them.
- Encourage your child to use art as a means of expression. Art can be very therapeutic when dealing with hardships and stresses in every day life.
- Use humor in your daily life to encourage playfulness. Tell kid-friendly jokes at the dinner table and help your child come up with their own one-liners.
- Allow time for your child to be creative. Try not to jam-pack their schedules with organized activities so they have time to let their creativity develop. Creativity needs a chance to happen and children need time to think and explore new ideas.
- Take time to notice the process and not just the finished product. You might be surprised at all of the creativity that went into the production of an otherwise simple product. Ask your child to share how they created their product and show them you are proud of the effort they put into something.
- Participate in story-telling together. This is a great activity for longer car rides and can be continued throughout the day whenever your child gets bored. Take turns adding to the story.
- Encourage your child to use their imagination. Role-play is a great way to stretch their minds.
- Provide opportunities for your child to explore. Take them to a new park so they can discover unique areas.
- Encourage your child to wonder about things. Ask them questions about their surroundings and encourage them to share their thoughts with you.
- Read books and watch movies with characters that your child can relate with to encourage risk-taking and playfulness, like the characters in Peter Reynold's "Creatrilogy" books. Talk about these characters and why their actions help them to be creative.
Whatever you do, have fun with it! Creativity happens best when you are having fun and not worrying about the right way to do something.
Photo Credits: Little Miss Eclectic Photography
Cramond, B., & Connell, E. (2009). Nurturing Creative Thinking. In F. A. Karnes, S. M. Bean, F. A. Karnes & S. M. Bean (Eds.), Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted (3rd ed.). (pp. 331-380). Waco, TX US: Prufrock Press.
Piirto, Jane. (1992). Understanding Those Who Create. Dayton, OH: Ohio Psychology Press.