Five Ways To Support Your Child's Creativity
SHE IS SO CREATIVE. Creativity is the ability to see many things in new ways. It is a form of self-expression and can take many forms. Creativity is critical in a child’s development; it allows a child to use their imagination to create something in a different way. It is important for parents to support, nurture and encourage creativity in their children. This concept allows children to think outside the box! It fosters cognitive development, learn new strategies or solutions and have feelings of accomplishment. This will ultimately will enhance their creative abilities and will help them in their lives, as they get older. It is my responsibility as a mother to nurture these skills and provide whatever for your child to succeed.
Creativity starts as young as a year old. As your child grows, their creativity will change.
I am writing this post because I have and will experience cultivating a child’s creativity four times! My oldest daughter, Maliyah has been insanely imaginative since she was four. Now, she is 7 years old and even more and more creative! She amazes me every single day!
Below are tips are suggestions for nurturing your child’s creativity (and examples from my personal experience):
1. Designate Space
Choosing a space in the home to allow the child to be creative is imperative. It does not have to be an actual room; just a special area within the home that a child understand is his/her spot.
In our home, my daughter has two play areas where she does her arts and crafts. One is located in a corner in the dining room and the other is in her bedroom.
2. Allow for “free time”
Every child should have “free time” that is unstructured and unscheduled to imagine and create. During this time, children will use their imagination to explore their interests and make things for fun.
Because my older children are in elementary school, the “free time” usually happens during extended breaks from virtual learning and in the evening when school is over. My daughter does most of her “free time” between the hours of 3 pm and 7 pm.
3. Allow children to follow their passions
As young children, parents should expose their children to a variety of activities. Activities will help them learn and ultimately figure out your child’s passions. Examples of activities include:
· Water play
· Play dough or slime
· Dress-up or role play
· Drawing and Painting
· Music, dancing and singing
As a mother, I ensured my daughter experienced a range of activities. When she was just 4 years old, I noticed she navigated more towards dolls, drawing, painting, and dress-up or role-play. I made sure that I purchased arts & crafts (crayons, coloring pencils and painting), several Barbie dolls and allowed her to follow her passion. See the picture that she painted around 5 years old.
She has such an imaginative mind and her creativity amazes me every day. She loves Barbie dolls and she loves to create clothes for them! She started asking me for old clothes so she could cut and design outfits for her dolls. This past Christmas, I invested in buying her a sewing machine with sewing materials and many fabrics. She has not started sewing yet, it is a learning curve for sure! However, now she is creating her outfits with the sewing fabrics that I purchased. See below many of her designs she has created at 7 years old.
4. Promote critical thinking and no perfectionism
Parents should nurture their new passions and continue to motivate them. We should ask our children questions about their ideas or visions. It promotes critical thinking for them to approach their passion and may do things differently. It helps them to use their mind! In addition, explain to your child that no one is perfect. If they make mistakes, it is normal and a part of learning. Mistakes allow a person to get better at their passion!
Often times, my daughter will get frustrated when she is creating an outfit. I express that it is okay to get upset, but let us find a solution to fix the problem. For example, she could not get a dress she made to fit down the Barbie legs. I told her to add extra fabric to the back to lengthen the fabric. Simple!
5. Do not manage their creativity
Children have an expansive imagination and can create so well when they do it on their own. That being said, do not be a parent that is overbearing or tries to push their ideas onto the child. Do not manage a child’s creativity.
I am the type of mother who enjoys my freedom, so I also want my children to maximize their freedom as well. It is very important in our household to let children be free with their creativity. I am not a micro-manager at all! I let my children do what they do and just express my happiness at all of their accomplishments.