Effective ways to foster creative thinking in your children
If you think that creative thinking is something you are born with and can’t be induced later in life, then you can’t be more wrong. The reality is that creativity is more than just an inborn talent. It’s an ability that can be facilitated by parents as well as teachers amongst young children.
You should know that children are way more creative than you give them credit for. They have a unique perception of things that make them develop some amazing and innovative ideas that could have been impossible for an adult to think of.
Sadly, with time, creativity starts fading away. People become more calculative and less imaginative. Generally, people think that fostering creativity in kids will only help them with their imagination. Well, that’s true, but you should also know that creative kids excel at school and develop better social and emotional intelligence. They become better problem solvers and create unbelievable paths to success.
So, here are some easy and fun ways to help your kids tap into their creativity.
Encourage kids to read for pleasure
It is needless to say that reading about different stories improves imaginations like nothing else. You need to leverage that and sow seeds of imagination in your child’s mind.
But not all kids like to read. They actually don’t prefer reading anything besides their mandatory curriculum books. That’s exactly what you need to change. You need to tell your kids how fun and enjoyable it is to read storybooks and comics. Try to take them to the local library and show them some captivating books they would enjoy reading.
For this, you need to reduce and limit their screen time. TV and mobile phones are just going to take your kids a step away from the process of fostering creative thinking. Get them some fantasy books such as the Harry Potter Series to start building their interest in reading. Refrain from using e-books in the beginning; instead, let them build their own mini-library with actual books. Also, try discussing the book and the characters. It will give you some insights into what your child is thinking about.
Offer them open-ended activities
Playing open-ended games and activities is undoubtedly the best way to tap into the part of the mind that is responsible for creativity. It actually allows you to make something new and awesome right from scratch.
Allow your kids to play with blocks, scrabble, clay, sand, dollhouses, and magnetic tiles. The best part of these toys and games is that they help in the cognitive development of your children. Not to mention that they’ll have some fantastic out-of-the-box ideas for their every playing session.
In fact, letting your kids experiment with arts and crafts is also one of the open-ended activities that you can try. Ask your children to draw or paint whatever they feel like on a blank sheet of paper. You’ll be surprised to know what they have for you in the store. You can also establish a crafts table with all the necessities such as scissors, plain or colored sheets, colors, stickers, glitters, washi tapes, and sharpies. You can also consider using patterned self adhesive vinyl to add a wow factor and bling up their project. Don’t worry! The sheets are already cut into A4 sheets for your kids to have a spectrum of colors in their craft space. Show them some online video tutorials and encourage them to make something new and different every time.
Also, you need to make sure that you celebrate their creativity and innovation. Cover your walls with their masterpieces. This way, they’ll feel appreciated and as a result they’ll be motivated to make more such art pieces.
Try to trigger their curiosity.
Children are naturally curious. They have millions of creative questions for their parents. And that’s a good thing. It means that they want to learn about new things. But with time, children stop questioning things around, and that affects their curiosity levels.
It is the responsibility of the parents and teachers to keep that spark alive in children and drive it in the right direction. For instance, if you feel that they show a keen interest in the art and culture of a specific country. In that case, try to discuss more about that particular country at your home. Talk about the weather conditions and watch regional movies in the native language. This way, your children will definitely learn more about what they are actually interested in. The meaningful discussions will keep the level of interest flowing in the kids.
But there’s one more thing you should know about such discussions. It’s okay if they disagree with you. Encourage them to research the problem and find some reliable facts to back their point. This way, they’ll learn something different and in-depth about the topic. That’s what they need to spark up the curiosity in them.
Stop making rules for everything.
The whole idea behind fostering creativity in kids is to give them a chance to think and do stuff freely. And that’s not possible when you are hovering around them all the time.
Even if your parenting instincts ask you to tell them not to make a mess during their arts and crafts sessions, try to refrain from that. Young kids need a safe and free space to let loose their imagination and creativity. And it’s your responsibility to offer them that. Remember, all masterpieces leave a trail of mess behind them. So, make sure that you let them unleash their creativity without any imposed restrictions.
In fact, you can even ask them to make some rules while playing some games. You’ll definitely be surprised to see what they come up with.
Apart from this, no matter how much you are impressed with your children’s masterpieces and out-of-the-box ideas, try not to reward or offer them incentives. This is because they might feel driven by greed for rewards and not the initial motivation they had.
So, use the effective tips mentioned above to foster creative thinking in your children. With creative kids running around, you won’t have a boring day in the house ever again.