5 Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Children
Sit with your child on the floor and play for 5-10 minutes WITH them. I like to use this time to model out of the box ideas…or even silly ideas. You know your child, so make it something they WANT to do. Then say, “Now I need to go _______. You keep playing, and I will come back when I am done.” When you finish your task, check in on your child. It might be time to find something new to do, but they MIGHT be interacting in play. Let them be if they are having a good play time. I like to add encouragement, such as, “You are just having so much fun using your imagination.”
Have open ended arts and crafts available. We love a good coloring book at our house and there is nothing wrong with that. BUT, your child also needs opportunities to create from scratch. This could be coloring a picture on a blank piece of paper or creating a masterpiece with miscellaneous craft supplies. Check out this post on Craft Items You Should Keep At Home.
Have building toys available. This is one of my favorites, because I have loved seeing growth take place in my own daughter. Again, sit with your child and build along side him or her. Model how you create a structure. Then step back. If your child is having a hard time coming up with a great idea, give him some ideas. Some of my favorites are: build a playground for your babies (jumbo blocks), build a house for (insert favorite character), or build a town. After giving ideas, a lot of times your child’s imagination will start to take over.
Have open ended toys that encourage pretend play. Some examples would be dress up clothes, play kitchen, play food items, baby dolls, baby doll strollers, plastic animal figurines, fort building kit or materials, doctor kits, blocks, train sets, and, of course my favorite, sensory bins.
One of the most important ways to encourage creativity in your little one is to STEP BACK. Give your child some space. This might be painful. This might take some time, but that is the main way your child is going to learn to PLAY and CREATE on their own. Don’t you want that for your child?
Resources for Encouraging Creativity in Children
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