When we hear ‘creativity’, we often think of painting, writing, or drawing.
But it’s important to remember that creative thinking is essential for subjects like math and science as well.
Even if your child doesn’t show an inclination for arts and crafts, you can still find other ways to encourage their creative development. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Here are some ways to ignite creativity and encourage imagination in your children.
What do we mean by ‘child creative development’?
Creativity isn’t about being artistic — it is all about thinking outside the box.
Children already have a tendency toward creativity and imagination, and as they grow you can nurture and encourage this to develop into an integral part of their thinking process.
What does creativity help a child do?
Creativity teaches self-expression, encourages kids to explore multiple options and processes, can serve as an emotional outlet, and goes hand-in-hand with cognitive development.
Having an active imagination is certainly a key component of creativity. The dictionary definition of imagination is: “the ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things.” Sobeing able to mentally explore new ideas and concepts is essential for developing a child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Creative development will in turn help with their mental growth and social development, as it gives them an opportunity to explore new ways of approaching situations.
12 ways to develop creativity in children
Children start developing their creativity as toddlers, so there’s really no such thing as “too early”.
Set the foundations for a creative life while they’re still little, and you’ll be raising an innovative, forward-thinking teen — and who knows where those skills will take them!
Creative development for preschoolers
Spending time outside
The outdoor world prompts kids to question, think, and hypothesize. Collect leaves at the park, spend time cloud-watching, draw in the sand, build things with branches and twigs — the opportunities for discovery and creativity are endless.
Play imagination games
Encourage your kids to play games where they invent different scenarios they haven’t actually experienced themselves. Imagination games like pirates, Kings and Queens, and under the sea require kids to flex their creative muscles, while also developing their social and verbal skills.
If your child has shown an interest in, or affinity for, creative arts, that’s definitely something worth cultivating.
Simple activities like drawing, painting, collaging, or sculpting with playdough are great emotional outlets. But it’s important to give your kids free rein to create whatever they want — letting their imaginations run wild.
Switch up the medium to keep it interesting: maybe instead of marker and paper, they can do chalk drawings on the sidewalk or decorate a plain t-shirt or pair of shoes.
Ask open-ended questions
Constantly engage your children in discussions about the world around them. Ask questions that prompt them to think laterally, like “What would happen if we did this?” or “What’s the difference between an apple and an orange?”.
Give them the opportunity to share their weird and wonderful thoughts about the world. Even if they’re completely off-base, they’re flexing their creative muscles and learning to think outside what they know to be true.
Limit screen time
Now we aren’t saying that screen time is a bad thing — in fact, there are loads of apps, videos, and online resources to support your kid’s education. But excessive TV and tablet time can be detrimental to your child’s creativity. Make sure your kids are getting enough unstructured independent playtime, where they can create their own entertainment.
Creative development for elementary and middle school kids
Get a creativity notebook
Give your kids a notebook that’s only for creative activities. They can use it to record journal entries, practice sketching, write poems, or for any interesting thought that comes to them. You could give them journal prompts, like: write down the first 20 questions, about anything, that come into your head.
Learn from unlikely places
If your children are used to learning from academic textbooks, maybe it’s time to switch it up? Watch a new TED Talk every day, maybe one related to what they’re learning at school. Find fun worksheets about topics they’re interested in, or listen to an informative podcast as a family.
Science and math experiments
There are a ton of awesome STEM activities you can do at home with your kids, and we already know just how effective hands-on learning can be. Engage their creative thinking by making predictions about what will happen and why. It can be something as simple as making your own paper planes and coming up with the most aerodynamic design.
Explore different cultures
Give your child an education about the world as a whole, not just where you live and your own culture.
Read and watch films about different countries to give your kids a look at just how diverse the world is. It’s important for them to understand different perspectives in order to really be able to think outside the box.
Give constructive feedback
When you notice your child using their creativity — whether it’s something physical like drawing a picture, or something abstract like solving a problem — congratulate them on it. Make sure they know creativity is something to be embraced and celebrated, and they’ll instinctively be more likely to pursue it.
Teach design thinking
Design thinking is a critical thinking process that encourages creative problem solving and helps kids approach tasks with an entrepreneurial mindset. It prompts kids to use empathy during problem-solving, then to explore multiple avenues before reaching a conclusion.
Check out this design thinking for kids guide, for more info.
Family reading club
Reading together as a family can be done at any time, but the best conversations can be had when your children reach school age.
Ask them prompting, open-ended questions about the book they’re reading. Have open discussions about the characters, and have them guess where they think the story will go. Give them a safe arena to express their thoughts and get used to forming their own opinions.
The more confident they feel in their voice, the more likely they are to apply creative thinking to other aspects of their life.
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Link will appear as 12 Ways To Ignite and Develop Creativity in Children (Spoiler: It’s Not All About Arts and Crafts): https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 6, 2020