Creativity is one of the most useful skills you can impart on your children- as it helps build empathy, imagination, and independence. Yet as a parent it’s certainly not as cut and dry as teaching them the basic colours and shapes.
As such, here are our top tips for raising a creative child.
- Mistakes are okay.
Teaching children that mistakes are okay helping prevent obsession over perfection. Instead, if you use mistakes as learning opportunities, and ask your child what they could do better next time they are far more likely to be creative and try different things.
- Boredom is fine.
If your childhood was anything like mine- being left to play outside or entertain yourself was par for the course. This is increasingly being ignored in favor of watching TV or interacting with technology.
Preliminary studies indicate that this can reduce creativity and independence, as children are not using their imagination as much. Ensuring that your kids unplug from time to time and have to stave off boredom themselves will help build imagination (and keep them active).
- Lead by example.
You are your child’s role model- they will imitate your behaviours. As such, it’s time to practice what you preach, and engage in some creative activities yourself.
Whether you are a beginner knitter or a champion at building Lego towers, it’s worthwhile showing off your creative talents in front of your child. If you don’t have a creative hobby, it may be time to start learning something new!
- Help bring their ideas to life.
Creative adults have the ability to see how things could be created or improved, often taking their ideas from their notepad and making them three-dimensional. The best way to learn this skillset is (as with most things) practise and experience.
To foster this type of vision in your children, try creative activities that bring your child’s ideas to life, such as;
- Design and build your own kites- then test them out and consider ways they could be improved. This can be fun for kids and adults alike!
- Have a raft competition amongst your children (or their friends). Supply some basic materials (popsicle sticks, etc), challenge them to design and build a raft each, and then have some time trials on a local river.
- Build and decorate a gingerbread house together- not only is it a fun festive activity, it’s also both creative and tasty!
If you want inspiration from an incredible project, check out this incredible video, where a cubby castle designed by a ten year old was brought to life. Not only does it stay true to her vision for the project, but they created a useful learning tool for her and her classmates. Best of all, you can see just how much it means to her to see her design taken seriously.
- Read with your kids.
Reading is truly central to child development in a number of ways- including creativity. As such, encouraging a love of reading young will help set them up for the rest of their life.