Creativity is important for children and adults alike. No matter what stage of life, creative people will often be problem-solvers, curious, industrious, and intrinsically motivated. To nurture creativity in our children takes intention and – you guessed it – creativity!
Consider these tips:
Allow for unstructured time.
If your children aren’t used to a weekend day with no plans, let them get bored. Keep the screens, TVs, computers, and video games off. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.
If your children are a little too young for so much unstructured time, keep them in sight, but still let them get bored.
Provide raw materials.
Once your children understand safe practices in the kitchen or woodshop, let them loose. Buy ingredients and see what they concoct. Keep around scrap wood, nails, paint, and other materials, and see what they build.
There are hours of potential entertainment in a pile of old magazines, construction paper, and a glue stick, or an old landline phone, sticky notes, and bifocals. The possibilities are endless.
Explore as a family.
Get creative together. Discover a new hiking trail. Do something you’ve never done before like paintball or a painting class. Or try a new cuisine. Learning about other cultures or even landmarks and geography in your own neighborhood expand and give depth to our worldview, which fuels our imaginations.
Find the balance between letting your kids get bored and getting them out of their comfort zones to show them something new. They should both spend time unentertained by you and share experiences together as a family.
Expect some messes.
Creativity is not neat and clean. Expect failed attempts, ideas gone wrong, and frustration.
According to the Greater Good Magazine from UC Berkeley, encouraging creativity in your kids also means encouraging “divergent thought,” which might look like them disagreeing with you and finding different solutions to a problem – or recognizing a different problem entirely.
Forget about instructions.
Throw out your expectations and hold your lists loosely (even this one). Let your children discover how they naturally tend toward creating and imagining the world around them.
This process should be fun and liberating and more than a little messy. Allow this to change you in the process as your children expand their own creativity; it makes us all better.
If you desire a school that will also nurture creativity in your children, look no further. Self Development Academy is recognized as one of the best K-8 charter schools nationwide. We have campuses in Phoenix and Mesa. Find email and phone numbers here. We can’t wait to hear from you!