My husband and I always discuss which side of the brain we most relate to. He claims that his is more logic and math based, while I side more with the artistic and creative side. As our two children evolve and grow up into their own unique individuals, I hope that each carries a mixture of both. However, as I watch my son and daughter develop, I do what I can to mold their creative side. Here are some of the different techniques that I have done to assist in growing their creativity so that it can carry over into their adulthood and future.
Inspire their imagination by using their toys
Kids have toys. LOTS of toys. While some toys they take an instant liking to, other ones just end up at the sidelines hoping to be played with one day. Our own children have so many toys, that it’s hard to get them to utilize every toy out there. Using blocks to build bridges or making a car lot of all the toy cars, helps not only encompass more toys, but also inspire more ideas in my children’s use of them.
This helps spur the idea of playing a parade, or jumping over cars like they do in car shows, or even piling them into one vehicle like they are taking a family trip. Using a variety of toys not only inspires use of multiple items that may be sitting idle, but also enhances endless ideas on how to play with each of them.
Make safe household items into a unique setting or make-believe character
For us, it’s using a big blanket to make a cave or fort. Other times, we use their blankets and become a ‘monster’ that likes to chase them around. By taking the simplest and safest items, and making them into something else, can truly enhance your child’s imagination in how to use everyday objects for other purposes. This can easily translate over adulthood, should they need to think on their feet in coming up with creative ways to solve a problem or issue.
For instance, in figuring out ways to fix something that breaks, or in being resourceful when it comes to decorating your house without spending a fortune.
Be descriptive/creative in your explanations
Instead of saying, “There’s a car,” say, “There’s a white car.” The same can go with objects and shapes. When looking up at the sky, say, “Where’s the moon?” and then follow up with, “What shape is it?” This will not only teach your kids their shapes, colors, numbers, etc. early, but it will also getting them thinking about how these concepts fit in our world. This will stay with them through life, as they start to piece together the world and make their own interpretation of it throughout their lives.
Play outside and let them explore
Let them get messy, let them play pretend, and just let them have fun. The best way to understand and make sense of the world around them is to let them explore and learn about it hands on. As a parent, you should set boundaries in regards to their safety, but not in growing their imagination. Let them play with sidewalk chalk, in sandboxes or in a little pool appropriate for their age. Make sandcastles, draw pictures with chalk for them, and be present while they explore this world of ours. While it may be a place that we are used to, for them, it is a realm that has yet to be discovered and understood in their ever curious minds.
As the parent, you have control in how to engage their creativity. Aside from just the ideas listed above, be sure to color with them and have them make something on their own. Igniting their minds with imagination and artistry is not only fun, but also good for the soul. Be sure to not take these moments for granted, after all, our children are the creative minds of the future and our world.
(Article contributed to True Relaxations by Lilac Lily)