Lucky for parents, children are born creative and curious. However, growing up can present MANY situations where creativity can be inadvertently squandered or stunted, interfering with individuality and your child’s confidence.
Here are 6 easy ways to help foster creativity with your kid(s)
1.) Help them set up a room or a section of a room that’s allowed to stay messy
Make a designated space and time for your child to have free expression, without too much supervision or worrying about how much of a mess they make. This freedom will take the pressure and structure off of them. Plus, when you’ve got a cute and durable backpack they love that’s entirely machine washable, messes aren’t that scary.
2.) Put together a box of safe non-toys from around the house
Stress balls, rope, a VHS, tape, magnets, newspapers, etc.-- letting them play with things that aren’t toys ‘optimized for play’ will teach them to play and problem solve in totally new ways.
Not everything will fit perfectly together like Legos, but it will nurture their curiosity by letting them make their own choices and have divergent thought. This also applies to your conversations with them-- let them disagree with you about what will work to make what they’re trying to make, and try not to help them solve the problem.
Too much guidance hinders creative thought and problem solving, and also teaches them to limit themselves to only what they know they can accomplish. So resist evaluating their ideas - delay judgment, and put less priority on measured achievements and performance, and more priority on autonomous and creative thinking.
3.) Limit screen time, swap for outdoor time
We don’t doubt you already push for your kids to spend more time outdoors instead of on their devices. But did you know this is one of the best ways to foster creativity?
There are a plethora of ways to get creative outdoors, and honestly, your child will find them before you do. Watch as a stick becomes a sword, grass becomes lava, a rose bush becomes a fort, and climbing a tree becomes flying an airplane. Creativity doesn’t have to mean handing them paintbrushes and a canvas-- it can mean letting them roam freely.
4.) Play a game with them where they imagine a far off exotic place and have them describe what they see, hear, taste, feel, and smell.
Are they in the forest with Chicklet, or flying around with Nay-Nay? Help activate all their senses by asking them what they’re experiencing in this new place. Ask them to talk about what they encounter in every sense.
What creatures do they see? What’s the weather like? Is there gravity? Let their imagination go and see what they continue to share with you.
Looking for a way to start? Download our coloring book and let them create their very own worlds!
5.) Encourage them to make and defend their own decisions (like letting them choose their own animal backpack best friend!)
Being spontaneous, trusting their intuition, and defending their decisions are your kid’s BIGGEST opportunities for fostering creativity and building confidence. If a peer says they can’t name theirdog backpack a girl name because it’s blue and black and not pink and purple, encourage them to defend their decision and question their friend’s judgment.
6.) Have fun and be creative yourself!
Kids are like sponges, especially around their parents. If they see you expressing yourself freely, they’ll be inspired to do the same. Get out there, parent!
Give your kids the time, space, and means to roam freely and get creative, and watch them blossom.