The cognitive processes required to develop creative thinking skills are the same for all children, yet some children end up more creative than others when they grow up. The only known differences are directly related to their experiences, characteristics, knowledge, views, and interests. Children’s creative tendencies are manipulated by the adults around them; parents either enhance or impede children’s creativity.
I’m assuming that since you’ve read this far you want to enhance your child’s creativity, but there’s only one problem…
There are some obstacles that hinder parents from contributing to their children’s creative growth. For instance, parents have little or no knowledge of the games, toys, environment, tools, and parental attitudes required to develop children’s creativity. Also, parents find it difficult to notice their children’s creativity because some of the behaviors of creative people such as unconventionality, impatience, difficult to control, and unusual viewpoints are frowned upon by society. Parents struggle to understand the thin line between creative self-expression and rebelliousness.
If you are able to free your mind of those misconceptions and are willing to truly do what it takes to raise and live with more creative children then here are tips that can help:
- Encourage learning through trial and error. Let them make mistakes – it helps the learning process especially if you help them develop a solution to their problems.
- Different children express their creativity in their own individual way so avoid comparing siblings to one another.
- Ask questions that have a lot of creative answers, for instance ‘What else could we use a paperclip for?’ or ‘How could we build a volcano?’.
- If your kids enjoy being on the computer/phone combine screen time with things that will enhance their creativity such as reading e-books, taking online art courses, or even simply more thought provoking games.
- Make a specific place for getting creative. It can be as big as a dedicated room or as small as a desk in the corner.
- Read with your child and have creative discussions about the characters and themes. You can even flip this on its head and collaborate on developing a story with your child. Write it and illustrate it.
- Travel with your children! Expose them to diversity and new cultures. This will naturally expand their minds to new plateaus when the time comes to generating ideas.
- Talk to your children about what’s current and trendy in their age group and try to pinpoint the creative elements of them. Use them to enhance their creativity while also keeping them interested.
- Observe them to identify the things that spark their creativity. Implement that spark into other subjects they learn.
- Get out the house! Go to a museum, an art gallery or even just a park. Find new things they can participate in to expand their horizons.
- Children ask tons of tricky questions. Encourage these and if even if you don’t know the answer then you can research them together.
- Remember that children often follow the lead of their parents so let them see you exploring your own creativity sometimes, too.
- Proudly display their work, record their performances and brag about it to all your friends!
- Sometimes children are their most creative when they are left alone to play freely and use their imagination so try not to control all of their time and decisions.
Luckily inspiring creativity in children is actually pretty simple because children are naturally curious and have wild imaginations! One of the most important things you can do as a parent is construct an environment that lets your child get their creative juices flowing. Follow those tips and you will create an effective creative learning environment that your child will thrive in!