Too many people believe that creativity is an inborn talent and that either kids have it or they don’t. But the reality is, creativity is more skill than inborn talent, an ability that both parents and teachers can facilitate and cultivate in children.
By the age of three, children officially enter Piaget’s preoperational period, when they develop the ability to use symbols and representations. And by the age of five, many children add details and annotate with words and narrated stories. With these newfound representational abilities, children’s imaginations become powerful and boundless. Creativity offers an abundance of intellectual, emotional, and even health benefits. There are a number of ways to develop a child’s creativity, most of which can be incorporated into daily life.
- Allow for your children to make simple life choices like selecting their own food or where to go on a weekend. This encourages them to think independently, using an important aspect of creativity.
- Encourage your children to find out innovative ways to play or entertain themselves. A child that is constantly entertained by others or by television will find it difficult to do things on their own.
- Include objects in your children’s environment to stimulate their imagination. Art supplies, books, blocks, and craft supplies can all contribute to increase and enhance creativity.
- Make your playtime with your children interesting. Brainstorm different uses for items like cardboard, clay, paper, etc. to make animals, telescopes, towers, or people. Validate all the ideas that your children are coming up with to increase their confidence.
- Encourage your children in regard to story writing and storytelling. Start a story and let your children build upon it. Follow their lead in what the mood and setting of the story should be. Most stories will be more on the silly side and on the impossible side, but they work wonders on the way your child’s brain is growing and processing.
- An important component in teaching creativity is feedback. Your children need to hear what you think of their work. They don’t need a ruthless critic, but they want to know what their parents’ favorite parts are. So, identify your favorite aspect and describe it. Help them learn you, so they gain more perspective on themselves.