16 Ways To Stir Your Child’s Creativity
Children are born with innate creativity, so it doesn’t take much to encourage that crucial trait. Just a nudge here or there is plenty.
Here are some fun ways to stimulate the creativity in your child:
1. Paint one wall of your child’s room with chalkboard paint. Remind him to make frequent use of his new canvas.
2. Teach your child your favorite craft. Use simple projects and large tools to make the learning experience enjoyable.
3. Introduce your child to the concept of the art journal. Explain that thoughts, emotions and ideas can be explored through both pictures and words.
4. Take reading for pleasure a step further. Encourage your child to create illustrations or clay models of scenes from his favorite books.
5. Give art and craft supplies as holiday and birthday gifts. Something about an unbroken crayon, or a brand new pad of paper, is irresistible.
6. Find out if your local community center offers weekend art classes for kids. One of my favorite memories is of my childhood ceramic classes where I was free to experiment to my heart’s content.
7. Allow your child some occasional downtime. Creativity requires a vacuum to thrive.
8. Encourage your child to make some of his own toys. One summer, while staying at my grandmother’s virtually toy-free home, I spent every morning inventing my own card games.
9. Head to the library and borrow drawing, painting and crafting books for kids. Make sure your child has the basic supplies he needs, but then, leave him alone to experiment on his own.
10. Make innovation probable. The next time your child asks you to buy something for him, consider asking…what do we already own that we can use instead?
11. Have your child help to plan his own birthday. Allow him to decorate the cake, use stickers to dress-up the goody bags, and design his own centerpiece.
13. Offer your older child frequent creative challenges. Prompt him to draw a happy day, use his Legos to build a park or help with designing projects to utilize empty boxes of tissues.
14. Cooking is always an opportunity for innovation. Consult your child on what to garnish the salad with, which vegetables to add to the soup, and fun ways to shape the bread dough.
15. If your child dislikes using a pencil or scissors, help him to enjoy drawing programs. Microsoft Paint is easy to learn and fun for a variety of ages.
16. Most important, remember that creativity is supposed to be fun. If you find that you are critical or dissatisfied by your child’s efforts, do both yourselves a favor, and quickly walk away.