It’s a natural thing for a child to be creative, but they need the right environment to keep that spark alight as they get older. As a parent, you can help your child to develop a love and appreciation of art and express themselves.
All of us can be creative but it needs to be nurtured and developed, like a muscle that is flexed.
Share the joy of creativity with your family and help your child use their imagination.
Benefits of Encouraging Creativity in Your Child:
Fear of failure inhibits the artistic process. Create opportunities for your child to take risks and learn from experience. Show them that it’s okay to be different. Help them to identify and use their strengths.
Crafts and hobbies are a healthy way for children to process difficult emotions. They’ll be less likely to turn to riskier options like overeating or drugs.
Develop cognitive skills
Creativity involves thinking as well as making things. While they’re finger painting or writing songs, they’re also solving problems and innovating.
Creative children are likely to experience more happiness and success. They’ll know how to entertain themselves, relate to others, and contribute to the workplace.
10 Top Tips to Encourage Creativity in Your Child:
1. Respond positively
Children want to use their imagination but be hesitant to do so if they feel like they could get it wrong and be judged. Stay positive and recognise the importance of the process over the result.
2. Leave some free time
Is your child’s calendar overplanned? Leave gaps in the week, between dance classes and sports clubs, so they can explore and follow their interests and see where it takes them. Have open-ended toys such as building blocks or let them play with empty boxes or rolls of wrapping paper.
3. Be an active participant
Try to keep an eye on screen time. Where you can, spend time doing things together instead of just sitting passively and watching. Go outdoors for a walk, scoot or bike ride. Play games and talk about your day.
4. Embrace messy play
Children love glue, glitter, paint, tape, chalk, pens and so on and they can learn so much from exploring and playing with these materials. Make sure you give your child some craft time. If you worry about the mess, use a mat on the floor and table. Keep the mess in one area. On a nice day taking the activity outside to the garden can take the pressure off keeping your house mess-free.
5. Set up an invitation to play
Even famous artists can sometimes need inspiration and a push to get started. Start a picture and ask your child to help you finish it off. Or set out some boxes, paint sticks and glue. Ask your child questions about what they want to make and why.
6. Purposely look for inspiration
Look for things that bring you both joy and spark more ideas. Visit art museums and watch nature documentaries. Take a picture on your phone to look back at when you get home. Scribble down notes or even sketches that you can use later.
7. Have art supplies in the house
It’s always a good idea to have the tools they need in advance. When your children have artistic urges or are looking for something to do they can get creative. Keep a range of materials like pens, paper, scissors, glue, tape, paint, card, etc. An art trolley can be a useful addition and allows your child to independently get out and set up what they want.
8. Follow your child’s interests
Encourage your child to pursue their passions. Explore activities based on your child’s interests. A football fan might want to create a collage with images from sports magazines and their match tickets. A music lover might try building instruments using junk modelling materials from around the house.
9. Connect with others
Invite family and friends to join you for playdates and outings with a creative twist. Help your child upload images of their favourite artwork to share with their grandparents or class.
10. Lead by example
If you explore your creativity, your child will be more likely to develop theirs and be inspired by your actions. Work on your projects alongside each other and share what you’re working on and your experiences.
Nurture your child’s creativity and imagination. You’ll wind up with something more than cute drawings for the memory box. You’ll be helping your child to think independently and develop their emotional intelligence.