One often assumes that creativity is something that is inherent, as something that we are born with. This is a misconception. Creativity is not intrinsic or innate but rather a skill that can easily be developed. This is definitely good news! While parents often focus on a kid’s academic skills, their artistic skills or even try to nurture their athletic aptitude, they tend to overlook creativity and its many benefits. If you’re wondering how a child’s creative skills can be improved, here are some ways.
1. Provide opportunities
To encourage creative thinking, parents must actively provide opportunities for kids to activate their sense of creativity, beyond pure academics. There are numerous ways to do this. You could design a space for them where they can be imaginative. Keep in mind that this does not have to be fancy or this does not mean a whole different room, it simply means a small corner of a room, for example, where they can be left alone with toys such as Lego or a pencil and paper. Let their minds wander and give them this bit of unstructured time during the day where their activities are not bound by expectations. Allow their thoughts to run in whichever direction they please and let their thinking wander to the wildest fantasies they can think, unencumbered by anything.
An application called the Intellijoy Early Learning Academy is designed for kids to engage in activities that prompt them to think and make use of their creativity.
2. Let them ask questions and answer them too!
Interact with your children and give them the chance to ask as many questions as they like. However, you can coax them to answer these themselves. For example, if they have a question about a certain animal, ask them where they think these animals can be seen, what foods they eat, what sounds they make, etc. You can help them activate their sense of imagination by posing certain questions and by spurring them on to try to find reasonable answers for these questions as well. Furthermore, you can also tell them interesting tidbits about the sky or nature or even sports, just to pique their curiosity. BrainPOP is an app that lets children explore and then tests their retention with quizzes!
As a parent, the responsibility lies upon you to expose them to all sorts of different worlds, driving them and their curiosity in different directions. This will eventually garner more questions from them for sure!
3. Solve problems together
Even if a minor problem arises at home, such as fixing something or having to repair a device, get your children to see how you approach this problem. Whether it is you trying to figure it out yourself, taking the help of Youtube or even calling someone to ask for help. Kids will learn problem solving skills and will be encouraged to think out of the box, or to even help you themselves. If they have a problem with homework or an issue with their friend or with a new toy, listen to them and help them think of the various solutions. Creativity is not just artistically or musically represented but can also help give a different perspective when it comes to problem solving.
4. Avoid rewarding kids for creativity
While this may seem counterintuitive, hear us out. If children are used to incentives, they will avoid spending more time on being creative but will instead try to circumvent ways of being creative, reducing the flexibility of their thinking and creativity. Rather than using rewards or incentives as the main motivating factors, let kids decide what they like to do and support these hobbies. This will help them learn what they innately like to do.
5. Let them read for fun
The activity of reading can seem cumbersome to children when it is forced upon them or if it is done purely for academic reasons. Introduce them to different genres and you can even read with them if you like! Let them know that reading is fun and let them read for pleasure. This can be encyclopedias for kids or even books that they like to flip through for the pictures. Reading will broaden their imagination, they will learn new things and will eventually gather inspiration from the stories that they read.
You can even get them a subscription to Fububox which is an activity box that chooses rare and exclusive books for children to read.
Creativity fosters children’s imaginations. It keeps their minds agile and has health, intellectual and emotional benefits, as well. By giving children the autonomy to traverse through different kinds of world structures and problems, their creativity will definitely boost.