I’m the girl who went to a performing arts high school, avoided gym class and team sports like the plague, and have always been in the midst of several crafty or musical projects. So when it comes time for my daughter to join the softball team, or she needs help perfecting her volleyball serve, I’ll be sending her straight to my husband. Not my forte. But the creative and artsy stuff? That’s my jam.
Creativity is so much more than painting a picture or playing an instrument. Encouraging your kid to think creatively also encourages self-expression, emotional health, mental growth, and an appreciation for diversity. All pretty important life skills. But where to begin? How does one encourage, foster, and help develop a child’s creativity? I’ve got a few ideas…
Provide creative space and tools
Have a readily available space in your home – whether it’s a devoted art table, a music or craft room, or just a stack of newspapers ready to hurl over the kitchen table when it’s time to get creative. Make sure your kids know there’s a place for them to create when and if they want to. Keep lots of arts and crafts supplies on hand. Paints, felt markers, crayons, and a healthy supply of blank paper are a great start. Provide guidance for whatever creative activity you’re focusing on, but try to let the final product be really and truly theirs – even if it’s no Picasso : )Keep paint and plenty of white paper on hand for whenever your kids' #creativity strikes!… Click To Tweet
Get their imaginations churning
Play every and any imagination game you can think of. Role, imaginative, and dramatic play helps kids to use their imagination, see through different perspectives, and explore their feelings. So, have pretend tea parties, dress up in silly costumes, and put on puppet plays. Let them pretend to be animals, sing songs, and go on backyard treasure hunts. And have fun with it!
Share your own creativity
Show your kids your artsy side. Play them your favourite music, hang artwork on the walls, and proudly display your own creative endeavors. I try to play piano for my daughter as often as I can. And more often than not, her sticky little fingers end up on the keys along with mine.
Encourage all forms of art
Creative activities come in a ton of different forms. Give your kids a chance to explore as many as they like. Music, dance, visual art, acting, writing, the list goes on and on. Dabbling in all of them at an early age will help them hone in on the creative outlet they choose to focus on later in life.