The ability to create something is part of what makes us human. Regardless of whether you build a car, knit a sweater, build a Lego castle or create a business PowerPoint presentation, the spark of joy we get from creating is satisfying to the soul.
Children are the same way. This is why they want to show you every drawing, every dance, every Lego creation they have made, show off their work with pride and satisfaction, and want to include you as parents in their joy.
Science categorizes people when it comes to creativity, however, we are all creative in our own personal ways. That is why, regardless of what you as a parent may think about your children’s abilities to draw, etc, it is important to encourage our children to live out the creativity gifted within them. This means nurturing them in their unique, individual creativity. And who better to model that creativity than those they strive to be like – us as parents. This is one of the best ways to spark creativity in children – by having them see us be creative.
Be creative yourself
We are often most creative when the kids are now around because that is when we get done what we want to do. However, it’s not about that perfect scenario – no one around, music in the background, etc. – if you allow yourself to open up to opportunities of being creative while including your children, they too will understand that they should discover and do and create and just be creative.
Our eldest son saw mommy sewing some pieces together and was very intrigued at what she was doing. So he got a pair of socks from his drawers, came back and said he wanted to show them as well. They ended up becoming a creative whale!
That is why as parents it is important to keep a list of creative things you want to pursue and when you have the half hour to do something smaller that you can bind your kids into, do it.
Give them access
Allow your children to explore different methods and ways to express their own creativity. Allow them to paint, draw, to write a poem or a song. Let them try different dance styles and listen to a variety of music. Give them popsicle sticks or a limited amount of Legos or a tablet with a drawing program. The outlets for creativity are virtually endless.
Then watch them closely.
See what makes their eyes light up and work with them to see what they love doing. Many children will need or want to try many things before they start discovering what they like and what they don’t like. Try doing these things together. If they are drawing, you draw too. If you’re building with Legos, build something as well. Be part of the fun.
You’ll then notice that once they find “their” thing, then you invest in it and encourage them. And never forget that interests will change as they learn and grow, so adapt and continue encouraging creativity in all directions.
In our tech-driven world, PlayStations and X Box have become a household standard, however, we believe that nature is one of the most inspirational places to unleash creativity. Children should be outside and become creatively inspired.
Go for walks in the woods and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Alternate sceneries with rivers, woods, mountains – whatever is within your scope and reasonable reach. There is no need to break an arm or leg to go into nature and discover.
You’ll be amazed at how creative children can be when they grow up and are taught to be creative in their own sense.
Many parents struggle with this for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because they don’t want to be bothered for a particular reason or because they can’t help but watch their kid just lie around doing nothing.
It’s a challenge for both parents and kids. However, being bored is okay and sometimes necessary. It, however, is a method to spark creativity (even if it’s “eventually” with a child), because it forces you to go outside your comfort zone. It leaves an opportunity for creativity and therefore as parents you do not always need to dive in and rescue your bored child.
Let them think on their own. Children have so many distractions that they rarely have time when they are actually bored to think of something interesting for them to do.
Kids will come up with new games, or start drawing pirate maps or concocting up role-play games. Just let them be bored and their imagination will grow.
Read, read, read.
Children should discover faraway lands and be intrigued by a variety of characters that they normally wouldn’t encounter in real life. Reading is the best way for your kids to experience things right at home and inspires them to learn about traits like courage, kindness, beauty, creativity, etc.
Give your kids access to books, from picture books to simple stories and rhymes. Read daily with them until they are old enough to read on their own. Our five-year-old reads on his own now, simple books like Dr. Suess rhymes, and he loves it. Our younger one loves browsing through books. We read every day with rare exceptions.
After reading, talk with them about what you read. What they remembered, what they learned, if they have any questions, things you found interesting, and things they found interesting. Books allow your kids to explore subjects far and wide. Perhaps even things you do not know or understand.
And it doesn’t even have to be expensive. Utilize access to your local library!
Creativity begins with an idea. Expose your kids to these ideas through reading.
Are your kids interested in something you don’t know about? Connect with others and ask around. Maybe someone in your community has the expertise to share with your children.
Maybe someone knows how to build a robot and your child could drop in together with their children and vice versa. Perhaps you can offer something to teach your kids and someone else as well.
If we all connected and appreciated a community sense more, we would discover so much talent across the board to teach our kids valuable skills and creative things to do that they might love that perhaps they may not have discovered at home.
Kids are smart. Regardless of age. They pick up and learn quickly. Therefore, passion is contagious. If you make a long face and say ok, let’s sit down and draw, your kid will notice that you could give a darn about what you are doing with them. However, if you are authentic with your words in wanting to do something, no matter if you like it or not, your kids will pick up this passion and perhaps pursue it to become better than you.
Be excited about your creative outlets, and things you actually enjoy doing as well. Your hobbies and passion projects. Show your kids, talk to them, walk them through it, explain it and be excited. They will pick up that energy. They may not be passionate about what you love, but it will show them that there is so much more out there to discover, and they too can become creative.
You will not regret the fact that you invest time into your child’s creativity – from music and dance to writing, drawing, building, and even breaking things. Hopefully, these tips will help you pursue some creative time with your child to encourage their creative juices and spark interest in their passions.