Children are innately curious and imaginative. Their creative energy can turn into a lifelong passion and even career if it’s properly nourished.
Supporting children in their creative pursuits has great benefits. Creativity helps children build confidence, use their energy productively, and learn more efficiently.
Creativity doesn’t just help children express themselves artistically (as some assume). It helps children think outside the box, develop logical thinking, and, overall, improve their cognitive capabilities.
If you wish to foster creativity in your child, here are some great ideas to get you started.
Allow Your Child to Follow Their Passion
Not rarely do parents force certain creative activities on their children. They may have the best intention in mind, but forcing creative activities can divert children from developing their true creative talents.
Talk with your child about creative activities they want to engage in. Observe their behavior and take notice of their interests.
Give your child a chance to explore whatever they like, whether that’s dancing, singing, drawing, construction, and so on. If a child is allowed to pursue the creative activity of their choice, they will be more motivated to stick to it.
Expose Your Child to the Creative World
Children can be unaware of all the creative choices they have. Introduce your child to vast creative opportunities and encourage them to use all their senses.
Dr. Charlotte Reznick, the author of The Power of Your Child’s Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success and a former associate clinical professor of psychology at UCLA, advises that you expose your child to the world so they can use all of their senses to power their imagination.
Take your child to the park, the Zoo, museum, children’s art exhibitions, musicals for children, the library, and similar places that motivate creativity. Help them to use their senses and build their curiosity with questions about what they see, smell, or hear.
Children discover animals
Have a Designated Space for Creativity
Enabling children to have space where they can channel their creativity will motivate them to pursue their creative passions.
Experts such as Pam Allyn, the Senior Vice-President for Innovation at Scholastic Education, the founder of LitWorld, a global literacy initiative for children, and the author of several books, emphasizes the importance of a creative space. Allyn says that children need to feel like they have power over their creative space.
You don’t have to put up a huge playroom. A small corner in the living room or their room will do just fine. Simply add toys and furniture that support your child’s creativity in that corner.
Give your child the freedom to design and organize this little creative space. They can keep the blocks, coloring pencils, or building blocks in that corner and create their little art shop.
Be Their Role Model
Parents are children’s role models. Since kids model our behavior, you want to set a good example.
Show your child that creativity is a regular part of your daily life. If a child sees that their parents build something, bake, draw, read, or engage in DIY projects, they’ll do the same. Moreover, when you are indulging in creative activity, invite your child to join you.
Estelle Liotard, a child’s psychologist and contributor writer at TrustMyPaper, agrees that parents need to set an example for children. “I’ve always been showing my love for books in front of my daughter, so as soon as she could read, she asked for her own books. Also, whenever I’m baking, I ask my daughter to join me, and we experiment with new tastes and ingredients,” shared Mellisa.
Create Art Together
Inspire your child to express their creativity through visual art. As it was stated in an article, “Engagement with making visual art has recently been shown to increase functional connectivity in the brain and is correlated with increased resilience or stress hardiness” (Bolwerk et al., 2014).
Visual art can come in many forms. You can make macaroon art, paint with fingers, color, play around with paper collage, create shapes with plasticine, etc.
The main point is to help them work on their visual skills. Experiment with different colors and textures to maximize their creativity.
Talk It Out
Be your child’s confidant, and openly show support for their creative activities. Ask them when they feel most inspired and what evokes their creativity. Moreover, ask intriguing questions that will further motivate creative thinking.
The discussion about their passion can help your child to accept their creative side. Do whatever you can to be supportive but not aggressive about their creative pursuits.
For example, if they love to read and write short stories, you can turn a few short stories of their choice into a book.
Freedom is essential in creativity. Aside from allowing your child to pursue their passion, you should also let them engage in that passion in the way they desire.
“Children have an amazing innate ability to be creative when they play freely on their own, and unfortunately, the act of overparenting dampens or even wipes out that innate ability,” said Mike Lanza, the author of the book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play.
Give your child enough unstructured time when they can play. You can schedule a time for their creative activities, but they shouldn’t take up all their free time.
Unstructured time to play
Instead of managing your child, let them make their own mistakes and figure out how to fix them. The ups and downs in creative activities will boost their critical thinking and teach them to be resilient.
The goal of these trips is to help you show support for your child’s creative needs. Allow your child to broaden their horizons and freely walk into the world of creativity and imagination.
about our guest author Nicole Garrison
She is a psychology writer for TopEssayWriting, an educational platform. Nicole creates content that inspires students and their parents to master new skills and try out new roles. In her free time she spends time reading self-development books and visiting contemporary art exhibitions.