Inside: Why creativity is important for future adults and simple ways to encourage creativity in your child.
Imagination is everything; it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.Albert Einstein
The ability to innovate is the driving force behind the continuously advancing technological era of the 21st century. Therefore, creativity, which paves the way for innovative thinking, is one of the most valuable qualities that you could ever teach your kids.
Children tend to possess an inborn instinct for creativity, so why don’t they all grow up to be innovative adults? Is it possible that we stifle our children’s creativity and therefore hurt their chances at success later in life?
As a parent, it is your role to ensure that your kids learn to be creative during their developmental years. The most effective ways to achieve this are by providing the tools and being part of the process while still giving them space to create from their hearts.
Choose open-ended toys and other supplies
Unlike toys that serve a single purpose, open-ended toys are used in multiple ways. These toys, which include building blocks and Legos, can be used for years without getting damaged which makes them timeless and limitless in their opportunities. However, what makes them an effective tool is that they encourage creativity through imaginative play.
Set aside creative spaces
As homeschoolers, we know that the “creativity” can take over the house. So it’s important to set aside space specifically for creative growth. In this room, there should be a cabinet or bookshelf brimming with arts and crafts supplies along with trays for storing complete works.
Often, kids will want to make things out of scrap paper, scissors, duct tape, and other material from the recycle bin. Additionally, be sure to provide drawing material at the study table; drawing helps to broaden their artistic ability.
But, most importantly, let this space be what it is designed to be. As Julie Bogart of Brave Writer says, “Reframe the Mess.” Let your kids’ creativity shine even if it looks like the art table exploded.
Record and watch together
Does your child have an interest in creating videos?
You can start filmology right in your home by coming up with a sketch television show or sports program together. Outline a concept and create a dialogue while allowing the children to mastermind the whole process.
You can assign roles such as director, writer, producer, and camera person to each family member, being sure to delegate the more involving parts to the kids. When filming the scenes, ask them to amend the script to give more life to the words.
Alternatively, you can come up with an original music video or cover a famous song, but with a unique twist. Whichever concept you choose for your family, set aside some time to watch the finished product together while pointing out ways to improve and making recommendations for the next production.
For a step-by-step guide for creating videos, we used Raising Da Vinci’s Filmmaking Course for Kids. We found it to be very helpful for starting out in filmmaking.
Brainstorm ideas together
Being creative requires more than just the artistic imagination and expression. It means putting ideas together to come up with something that has not been done before. As a parent, you can encourage authenticity by building on ideas from your kids.
An excellent way to achieve this is by holding family brainstorming sessions and letting everyone participate. Make it extra fun by coloring the ideas on a piece of paper and hanging it up in your house — or better yet, installing a chalkboard wall in your kitchen to really let the ideas flow.
Pay attention to your child’s interests. Are they interested in sports, dance, art, music or acting? Do tinkering and building inspire them? Take note of what interests your child and help them to find the resources they need to explore further. Maybe it will become a passion, and maybe they will discover that their interest is short-lived. Either way, you are encouraging their creativity and helping them to learn about themselves.
Be your child’s inspiration
It’s hard to convince your children to step away from their phones to be creative when you aren’t setting the example. As adults, it is our responsibility to show our children how important our creative sides are. We all have creative sides, but we bury them as we become older because our passions seem childish, silly, or not productive.
But, they aren’t childish pursuits. Our creative sides help us to become happier, fulfilled parents. And, THAT, is important to show your children. Show them how to experience creative joy by nurturing your own creative side. Show them how you are being an Awesome Adult.
Encourage Creativity in Your Child and Help Them Discover Their Passions
Remember that a child’s education extends beyond formal knowledge to the environment where they live and play. Besides making home fun, fostering a creative environment for your kids is a way of gifting them the mindset that will lead to a fulfilling future. It will help them to discover their passions, thereby kick-starting their careers from an early age.
How are you encouraging creativity in your child?
As a former teacher, Lucy Thomas saw how the pressures of studying and exam stress led many of her brightest students into suffering from anxiety and depression. Lucy is no stranger to this herself and has had a lifelong battle with both conditions. She now writes for a living and is trying to help educate others on learning and how to cope with stress. Away from work, Lucy is a mom to two small girls and supports a couple of mental health charities in her free time.