Creativity is all about using our imagination…and kids sure have tons of it! Imagining, trying new ways of doing things, and experimenting all help develop critical thinking skills and foster creative problem solving – important tools for your child to have as they grow. So how can we help foster creativity in our kids? Read on to discover our top 5 ways to encourage creativity in your child:
1. When it comes to creating art, let your child lead the way.
Put out a few art supplies and see what they create. Even if you have ideas of your own let them decide how they are going to use the materials…then stand back to watch their imagination at work!
2. Give them space.
Let them know that you’re nearby to help if necessary, but don’t sit too close that they depend on you to solve their design problems. This will help them build confidence in their decision making skills.
3. Give them options…lots of them!
When a child has to make a decision, whether it’s which colour of paint to use or how tall their clay pot should be, they’re weighing out the possibilities and choosing what’s right for them. The more options they have, the more decisions they have to make and the more they recognize possibilities - what works and what doesn’t.
4. Don’t rush, allow them time.
Sometimes it takes a child a bit of time to decide what they want to do with their art materials. If your child asks the question, what should I make? Pull out a baggie of word prompts. These are small bits of paper with one noun on each paper. Without looking, your child will pick two words out of the bag and whatever the two words are they must create an image that incorporates both. My art will be about a rainbow/cat or diamond/ bicycle or hand/banana picture.
5. Appreciate the creative process - not the finished product.
It’s so easy to say, but hard to live by! As parents we always like to see artwork that we can appreciate, understand and be proud of. BUT like professional artists, for every beautiful piece of artwork created, there are many that aren’t so beautiful. So remember, every piece your child makes is important and part of the overall development process.
Tip: My guest bed looks like it is levitating as I store every artwork my kids have ever made underneath! I know we shouldn’t keep everything, so when it’s time to purge, include your child in the editing process. Ask which two of these would you like to keep? Or, could we use this one to make another piece of artwork, such as a collage? This will help to keep things tidy and give space to the artwork you’ve decided to showcase in your home! What do you do to help encourage creativity in your kids? Let us know and leave us your tips!
If you’re looking for creative projects for your child to do at home, check out Pip & Vix Art Kits – innovative art boxes for kids of all ages, delivered monthly!
About the Author...
Philippa Glossop, B.F.A, M.Ed, is an artist, art advocate and educator who has been teaching visual art to children for over twenty years. She teaches in a number of school districts, art galleries, community art centers, and from her own art studio. Philippa’s passion is creating innovative art kits to stimulate and encourage kids of all ages to explore and develop their creative thinking and expression. More about Philippa