Creativity was traditionally thought to be limited to a special set of ‘people', but we can all be creative given the opportunity. Babies and toddlers are being creative with their play and development, through to teenagers who might be thinking up their next genius idea.
Being creative is especially important for children as they learn to develop ideas, problem solve and build new skills. It is also an important component to health and happiness and a way in which they can learn about themselves. As adults/parents, we need to encourage creative environments and situations for children.
So, get your creative juices flowing and think up some ways in which you can support your child(ren) in new and fun ways. Below are a few ideas of how to nurture creativity in your little ones.
- Provide the resources they need for creative expression – Time, space and resources are beneficial.
- Don't take over or be too controlling – Making them “colour within the lines” can reduce flexibility in thinking.
- Limit other distractions – Try to remove as much TV and other screen time to make room for creative activities like rehearsing a play, learning to draw, or read a series of books.
- Let them disagree with you – It’s great to all have different ideas or ways in which we do things. Encourage them to find more than one way to a solution, and more than one solution to a problem. When they successfully solve a problem, ask them to solve it again, but to find a new way to do it (same solution, different route).
- Try not to worry about the outcome – Put emphasis on the process not the final product. You can do this by asking questions about why they chose to do something that way and be sure to encourage their ideas.