Being creative is one of the most important traits children can have. Creativity and imagination help them grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. Their experiences when doing something creative and imaginative can help them develop skills and help express themselves better by sharing their thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Furthermore, giving them opportunities to express themselves in creative ways like art and music would contribute greatly to their development as a whole person. But coming up with ways to make them do creative activities need not be stressful. Also, it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time for all parties concerned. Remember, it won’t be creative if you over-structure their activity.
Each step, no matter how small, towards your child’s development, is a significant step in their growth and emotional health. It’s because creativity is a process and not a product. A unique response or point of view, a thought-provoking piece of writing, or a distinctive painting—all these can be expressions of creativity. Their thought processes as they write, paint, think, or sculpt are at the center of their creative activity.
As a parent, you should keep in mind that a child’s creativity isn’t limited to art and music. Children express themselves in all sorts of creative ways; after all, a lot of things around us are products of creative thoughts.
Encourage Creative Expression
Kids with a sense of humor, or those who come up with unusual answers to questions, or unique and unpredictable approaches to a problem, could just be a product of children’s creative minds. As creativity can sometimes be perceived as going against the rules inside a classroom or a home, grown-ups might get exasperated with this type of child.
To let them have an outlet, encourage them to do creative activities is a great way to develop their creative side. Here are a few ideas to help your child get that creative juice flowing.
One of the best ways for children to express their creativity is through writing, where they can explore ideas and express their feelings. To get children to write, you can start them with the following:
- Write lyrics to made-up songs or rhymes to familiar tunes.
- Write down made-up riddles and jokes—perhaps your child can put these together in a book or blog.
- You can also help her write a storybook; she can make up the storyline and illustrate the book—you can make your own comic together.
- You and your kid can also invent a new game. You could both write the back story and the rules, as well as the layout of the board and design of the pieces.
Arts and Crafts
- Don’t throw those large cardboard boxes away! Your child could use them to create playhouses. Let your kid come up with construction, layout, and decoration. Kids love this kind of activity. You can try building an outdoor play house with them and they will simply enjoy it. It’s a versatile material. Encourage your child to get crafty. And because it can come in different sizes and dimensions, your child can use it in various ways. They are a tactile material that lets children learn with their senses and through the use of their hands. Building a playhouse with this material engages them creatively.
- Set up a painting session using textured paint. Add different materials like sawdust, sand, or dirt and let them experiment. See what they’ll create and the effects they’ll use. They can use these materials to decorate boxes, paint objects, or make paintings. This activity can be a great hands-on, multi-sensory creative activity for you and your child.
- You can help your child build a robot from kitchen materials like foil, craft supplies like pipe cleaners, and recycled materials like boxes.
- Encourage your child to make creative use of modern technology. Help your child combine digital media with clay-making or painting, and drawing. Fashion a clay model and take photos of the result, for example. You can make a story along with these photographs or turn them into a ‘claymation’ or stop motion storytelling with the help of an app.
- Teach your child the rudiments of photography and let her make up a story or photo album with the help of software or application.
- Have fun making a short video. Your kid could make the costumes and write the script if she wants. When everything’s set up, she can video herself acting out the parts, or she can be the director, using a camera or smartphone. You can help her edit and add special effects using an app or computer software.
- There are music apps that you can let your child use to write songs with or make beats using the sounds of various musical instruments.
- Set her up with a blog and encourage her to write down her thoughts, write stories, or about her favorite subjects or favorite things to do.
Drama or Storytelling
- Events that happen every day in your household can be material for your kid’s drama sketch. She can also use inspiration from TV shows and movies or stories your kid wrote.
- You can also have fun with puppets. You could get your kid to make a simple puppet or puppets, or maybe buy one.
- You and your child can take turns making up stories. Perhaps you could begin by using a simple situation and use it as a springboard for your stories, and you can take turns telling what happens next. As the game goes on, the imaginative side of your child can shine.
- Playing Pictionary or Charade can also be fun. Games that involve guessing and acting are always good to fire up kids’ imaginations. The kids can also create their version of flashcards, complete with words to draw or act out.
Some children might be more interested in music. Your child might be one of them, or maybe not—no one can just teach children how to enjoy these activities. What you can do is teach them to have a positive attitude towards music.
You can do these enjoyable musical activities with your child:
- It’s great if you already play a musical instrument. You can play music with your kid and perhaps let her hold the instrument to get her to feel comfortable with it before teaching her the basics. Play the instrument in various ways—fast, slow, and at different volumes. You can encourage her to copy the way you play.
Start slowly. Play simple and easy tunes, something that’s easy to emulate. Encourage her to hum her favorite tunes and try to guess what they are.
Today’s children are most likely using digital media for their creative work at school. Your child has probably already learned to create digital art and knows the basics of using digital media to communicate, as well as tell stories. Also, there’s a good chance that she knows what good digital art and media look and sounds like.
You can combine their digital knowledge with the traditional to make their creative activities more engaging and more interesting. Nurturing their creativity and imaginative side as early as possible can make for happy, well-adjusted adults.
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