Creativity is the root of innovation and problem solving skills, both of which are indispensable in the 21st century workplace. Fostering creativity in children gives them the power to ideate, problem-solve, think critically, and develop many other crucial skills. But how do you develop creativity at home? Boosting creativity in children is not about teaching it to them, so much as giving them the space and tools to allow it to flourish naturally. Here are 10 ways you can help your child to flex their develop creativity:
1. Make sure your child has “free time”
Give your child unstructured time without any other activities scheduled, to allow them to come up with their own ideas of how they’d like to spend their time and what they would like to engage in.
2. Provide materials
Create something like an “art bucket” with supplies for different kinds of projects using different mediums. It can contain paint, brushes, glue, crayons, coloured pencils, clay – anything that you feel they can experiment with and learn from! Encourage play, with toys and materials that can be used in a variety of ways depending on the mood and imagination of your child.
3. Make a space for creating & play
This does not have to be an entire room for play. It can be any space in the house demarcated for the purpose of play. Let your child know that in this space it’s okay to make a mess, experiment and engage with their imagination without care.
4. Discuss creativity
Talk to your child about creative things they’ve done at home, or at school and with friends. Ask them questions that help them think about how they look at things, what they enjoy, what they’re imagining, and what they remember. This will develop creativity and help spark new ideas for them to try out!
5. Emphasize on the journey, not the result
While engaging in creative activities, ensure that you spend time enjoying the journey and process of creating something rather than focusing entirely on the item that is created. This helps any potential failures to be fun learning experiences instead of negative memories, and reinforces your child’s love for the activity rather than the result. Talk to your child about what they have planned, what inspired them to plan in this way, and how they want to go about taking things forward.
6. Building toys
Building with toys like Lego blocks or play-doh can be a fun way for children to learn spatial and problem-solving skills while also stretching their imagination. Allow time for free play, but also ensure they’re being challenged by encouraging them to build something they’re interested in. Giving them an end goal helps them create a plan to build what they want with the materials they have.
7. Use technology – apps, online games and gadgets
The right games and apps, used intelligently and in moderation, can be powerful tools to stimulate a child’s creativity. Just ensure the games are stimulating and age-appropriate to ensure your child is learning while having fun! In particular, encourage your child to use their screen time to use apps and games that allow them to build and create, rather than just play, watch or experience. While playing video games can encourage problem-solving and development of motor functions, learning to BUILD video games can also teach your child project planning, logic, creative design, user empathy and more.
8. Encourage reading and storytelling
Both reading and storytelling are already emphasised in most schools, but they should be encouraged at home as well. From a young age, kids enjoy listening to stories, and being read to. Finding books that are appropriate for your child’s reading level (not too easy and not too advanced) will help them engage with the reading material, and eventually improve their reading skills. Encourage your child to tell stories and write creatively and expressively. As your child gets older, encourage them to write stories about what they’ve read. This will help them to better absorb their reading material, develop creative writing abilities and exercise their imaginations. Check out our Art of Communications course to help your child become a published author!
9. Help your child pursue their passions
Help your child to try new things. Enroll them in different classes at a young age. If your child shows a keen interest in a specific art form, such as drawing or playing an instrument, support that passion! A natural interest in any such a hobby is a stepping stone towards creative potential.
10. Set an example
Make sure your child sees you trying new things – children tend to learn from watching their parents be creative too. Involve your child in your creative pursuits and join your child in their activities, as a fun way to spend quality time together and reinforce their interest. Use time spent together to introduce them to different kinds of artforms, educate them on different cultures, and help them to explore their creative spirit!
Through coding and communication classes, Camp K12 offers structured activities that help your child grow their imagination and develop creativity. Our coding classes teach children to design and build exciting games and applications while developing important skills, while our communication classes help kids to improve their English and become confident communicators through storytelling, creative writing, debate and public speaking, blogging, video content creation and more.