How to Raise Creative Kids
Creativity is a big part of leading an enriched life. Through exploration, learning and experimenting children can begin to cultivate an appreciation for the magic of unique and unusual things, as well as grow into quality human beings. While learning experiences at school might begin the process—how do you follow through as a parent? How do you foster creativity at home? We’re here with some ideas that might just make your life more fun—and inspiring!
- Talk to your children. I know, this one seems very strange to mention, but with all of life’s distractions, it can be easy to get lost in adult discussions, or your phone and sitting your child in front of a screen can be a temptation. Initiate conversation—ask questions—get them to expand on their impressions and ideas. Ask open-ended questions—move beyond yes and no answers. (You’ll get enough of that when they’re teenagers) Build verbal confidence and encourage inventive thoughts.
- Read! Books are the key to many wonderful things—like reading comprehension, exposure to words for an improved vocabulary, and a chance to imagine “what happens next” or what could have happened differently. Studies show that children who are read to on a regular basis develop stronger verbal and reasoning skills, expand their understanding of the world, as well as experience a stronger connection to visual cues and appreciation for illustration.
- Load your home with art materials! Make sure you have paper, crayons, felt tip markers, paint, glue, glitter (gulp) and other options ready for experimentation. Old magazines also provide a wealth of images at no cost—they can also be cut out and used for collage and other forms of storytelling.
- Sing! Music is such a wonderful way to enrich the lives of children. Expose your kids to all kinds of music (being mindful of lyrics) and let them begin to develop their favorites. Music enjoyment is the foundation for so much other creative development.
- Play games! Games can transport the players just about anywhere. Games also demand some strategy and that is an opportunity to polish creative skills as well.
- Laugh! Humor can make the best of the most challenging scenarios. If you tease and joke with your children, they will learn to take themselves (and life) a bit less seriously. I was brought up in a home where humor was on display every day between my parents and my siblings. It allowed me to rise above the negativity and certainly made growing up more fun. I was taught to value clever thinking and comedy.
- Celebrate being different. Encourage your kids to be different—to embrace how they are unique and unlike others. If you can plant this seed early—it’s likely they will be more confident in themselves as they grow, as well as acknowledge, accept and respect differences in others.