Creativity is an essential aspect to any person’s life, and most of the time, that imagination begins to form during childhood. Without the opportunity to think, act, and do things creatively, there’s no chance for that important trait to grow within a child. Below, you’ll find some important and easy ways to foster creativity in kids—check them out below!
Model the creative behavior you want to see
Fostering creativity begins with you. If you want your kids to feel like they can express their creativity, then you have to try to express your own. Many of us become more creative when we see others doing the same because it shows us that it’s possible. If your child sees you dream up things and then create them, they’ll feel more encouraged to do the same.
Provide the resources they need
Just like it’s important for them to see you being creative, children need to have the resources available for them to be creative. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and get every creative tool in the universe, but you should try to have a wide variety of materials. They’ll need space, and they’ll need time; these will help your child feel as comfortable as possible as they express their thoughts and feelings.
Encourage reading for pleasure
One of the best ways to foster creativity in kids is by reading, and not just reading for classwork. Limit TV and other electronic time to make room for reading, and let them read for fun. When it comes to children who can’t read alone—read with them. There are many great books for toddlers out there, and when you make the time to read with them, they’ll feel even more inclined to pick up a book themselves. Reading is also one of the best ways to help a child form his or her own ideas.
Give your child some space
If you want your child to truly get creative, you have to give them the space to do so. If you constantly watch over their shoulder, they’ll feel as though you don’t trust them enough to delve into their own imagination. Kids need the freedom and autonomy to explore their own ideas; external constraints, such as you telling them to paint a specific way, can reduce and impair their flexibility in thinking.
Ask your child questions
Another very important way to grow children’s curiosity comes from asking questions. From simple to complex, asking your children questions helps them delve into critical and creative thinking. Questions also give your child the opportunity to express “divergent thought,” which means you allow them to come up with more than one solution to the question. Questions that require creative thinking can end up sparking a child’s creative thought processes.
Emphasize process over product
Finally, our most influential way to foster creativity in kids lies in your reaction to their creative product. It’s important to show interest in what children create, especially if they’re proud of what they created. However, it’s vital to emphasize that what’s important lies in the creative process and how much that can positively impact a child. If a child doesn’t like what they created, then the process is even more important to emphasize.