As one of your child’s first mentors, you can model the importance of creativity. Through creative play, you inspire and boost their creative skills. Let them see you explore your creativity, encouraging them to discover theirs.
What is Creativity?
Creativity is the ability to shape new ideas and methods. Similarly, it means to surpass conventional rules and patterns. Or put another way, it is problem-solving that is relevant and unique. Creativity ignites exploration, discovery, and ingenuity. It is resourcefulness at its best!
Children and Creativity
There are those that believe that creative children are born with natural talent. Yet, others believe it is a learned skill. In reality, there is some truth to both sides. As children, we use our imaginations all the time. Think about how your highly imaginative child uses their creativity daily.
Where did they learn to be so creative? From a very early age, they were encouraged to explore, imagine, and play fostering their natural creativity. So, what happened? Studies indicate that creativity decreases with age as we begin to conform to the real world. We start to set aside our imaginations. We turn our attention to reality and appropriate behavior. No longer are we free to preoccupy ourselves with imaginary friends.
Comparatively, some research indicates that the change in today’s childhood experiences deters your child’s creativity. Many schools are removing art and focusing on standardized testing. Recess is cut short or removed altogether. Children are over-scheduled and left with little time for free and imaginative play.
Finally, more toys come with everything planned, offering little opportunity for creative play for kids. No longer are open-ended, building sets and blocks used to create imaginary worlds. Instead, building sets are purchased with a story-line, costume, and accessories included.
As a society, we need to model and encourage creativity in our children. By doing so, we can cultivate a generation of innovative and gifted thinkers. As your child’s role model, they learn more from what they see you do than what they hear you say. Consequently, exhibiting the importance of creativity can spark your child’s creativity.
How to Foster Creativity
Minimizing the amount of structured and scheduled activities is crucial to developing creativity. Kids need free time to investigate and discover the world around them. Give them time to figure out how to entertain themselves because boredom encourages creativity.
Having an area or even a box that gives your child a place to express themselves matters. Be sure to include things that they can use to pretend, explore and build with like dress up and play blocks.
Don’t rush in to solve their problems. Instead, step back and let them figure things out on their own. As a result, this encourages them to use their creative thinking skills.
Engage in what they are doing. Ask questions that help them to think outside the box and solve problems. Instead of asking, “What color is this?”. You might ask, “What does this color make you think of?”
Play and creativity are dependent on one another. Additionally, some research has linked play to fostering imagination and creativity. Let loose and show them your playful side.
Let go and give them the freedom to explore their interests, gifts, and passions. Allow independence to try new things and to make mistakes.
Whether through dance, art, or a set of giant building blocks, show your child the importance of creativity. By engaging in creative play, they too will reap the benefits.