Creativity is widely loved and its good to come across one. It would be wonderful as a parent to see your kids boost up their portion of creativity. Here are 7 ways to encourage your kids to churn their creativity.
- Designate a space for creating. Carving out a space where your child can be creative is important, said Pam Allyn, executive director of Lit World and Lit Life and the author of many books, including Your Child’s Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity, and Skill at Every Age. But this doesn’t mean having a fancy playroom. It could be a tiny corner with a sack of LEGOs or a box of your old clothes for playing dress-up, she said. Allyn has seen creativity flourish in the most cramped spaces, including the slums of Kenya. The key is for your child to feel like they have power over their space, she said.
- Allow for “free time.” It’s also important to give your child unstructured time, Allyn said. Spend a few hours at home without activities scheduled, so your child can just putter around and play, she said.
- Keep it simple. Just like you don’t need to create an elaborate play area, you don’t need the latest and greatest toys either. Child educational psychologist Charlotte Reznick, Ph.D, suggested keeping simple games and activities. For instance, she plays LEGOs with her child clients. But instead of following instructions, the kids let the wheels of their imagination spin and build what they want.
- Discuss creativity. Ask your kids when they come up with their best ideas or have their most creative moments, Allyn said. If it’s in the car while getting to soccer practice, honor that by keeping a notebook, iPad or even a tape recorder handy, she said.
- Cultivate creative critical thinking. As your kids get older, ask them how they approach certain problems and how they might do things differently, Reznick said. Have your kids brainstorm their ideas on paper or use mind-mapping, she said.
- Avoid managing. “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,” according to Mike Lanza of Playborhood.com and author of the upcoming book Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play. So it’s important to figure out how to facilitate your child’s creativity without managing it, he said.
- Help kids pursue their passions. Pay attention to your child’s interests and make these materials and activities available to them. Lanza’s oldest son is especially interested in geology, so Lanza buys him books on the topic along with rock samples.