Do you worry that your child is not doing everything they can to stimulate their mind? There are so many distractions in the modern world that it can be difficult to create rather than consume. If you have concerns that they could do more to be creative and stimulate their imagination, here are some things that you could benefit from incorporating into your lives.
Provide Many Materials
The most important thing that we can all do is to give our children a wider canvas to choose from. The more toys for creative activities, the better. If your children are all about screen time, you can pivot their attention and give them photo editing tools and other creative tools that can stimulate their imagination. For example, a tool like Hustl records time lapses on desktop computers, which can become a creative outlet for older kids. If your children are younger, having more tools like art supplies, Lego blocks, and popsicle sticks are all amazing things to get them to be more creative.
If you want your children to be more creative, you’ve got to encourage them to play more, which may mean more mess. The more your children play with materials, the more ideas will emerge. And there’s always the opportunity for a simple mess around with toys to set them off in a new and exciting direction. You can give them the materials and think about sparking their imagination by showing examples or just working together you can stimulate whole new ways of thinking.
Embrace All Types of Creativity
Everybody is different, and your children are going to create in ways that suit them. Some will enjoy making houses with Lego, but others want to embrace sports, and others are going to be more creative and use words. The great thing is that there is absolutely no wrong way. When you encourage children to do things that intrigue them, they’re going to find something that resonates with them better. And if you want to make things even more interesting you can help them engage in various types of creating and making. This means that they will get a better understanding of the whole creative process.
Focus on the Process
One of the most pivotal components of creativity is being engaged in the creative process. We should never think about the final product until it’s ready. As they say, paintings are never finished, merely abandoned. Children can be pushed in a direction to constantly deliver a product or project, especially in the school environment. If you want your children to be creative, don’t give them a near deadline, but you should also take a lot of care to highlight the process. You can do this by asking your children about strategies and what inspired them. And it’s also vital to look at the things they consider a failure as much as the ones they have made a success of. Giving your children time to share what they’ve already come up with means you can start to discuss how they can progress.
Pairing Your Child With Like-Minded Individuals
You can certainly get an insight into how your child works with others if you have a friend over on a playdate. If your child talks about people that they admire in school, you can be a matchmaker and bring someone over to create something as part of a project. But bear in mind that the dynamics can change, especially if this child is the more dominant of the two. If this is a concern, there are other ways you can do this. You might want to look at local online groups or communities to see if there are any local projects your child could get involved in.
Getting Involved Yourself
This is very much a double-edged sword. You can run the risk of being too bossy or taking over because they’ve hit a bump in the road. But if you want to get involved, you’ve got to be a collaborator rather than a project manager. You are both working together for a common goal, and when you’re both committed to working as a team, this can benefit both of you. This is the one time where you cannot be “the parent,” and it’s important to remember this, especially for the sake of your relationship.
Making Time for Reflection
If you want your children to be more creative, there is also that important process where you have to ask your children to reflect on what is happening. You can start simply by asking them how they came up with the idea, and this can prompt them to reflect on their motivations and inspirations which can set them off down another avenue completely. The great thing about creativity is that your child can always surprise themselves, and if your child has been trying to do something and it didn’t go their way, ask them to describe what they wanted to achieve with it, and in doing this they may recognize where they’ve gone wrong without you fixing it for them.
It’s also a good idea for you to provide insight into any experiences you’ve had in the past. As parents we may want to show our children we are the fountain of knowledge. But if your child can see you have found a creative project to be hard work and showing them what you did to overcome certain issues, this can help them to reflect on how they thought about the project and learn how to do something better next time.
There are a number of benefits to getting your child to be more creative. But the trick is more about giving them the right support to stimulate their curiosity and develop their full potential. Rather than teaching creativity, we’ve got to focus on creating the right environment for them to be more creative.