All children are considered creative. Some more, others less, but all children are said to possess some form of creative qualities. However, those qualities wane over time. If not nurtured, that is.
Put simply, as children grow up and start going through life and the motions of it, they start getting less and less creative. Even science supports this argument.
However, you don’t always need to let things unfold naturally. In other words, you don’t need to see your kid get less creative. You don’t have to witness them becoming less imaginative and playful, as there are ways for you to help them cultivate and develop their creativity.
And to help you help them, we prepared a course on creativity for children. But before you make up your mind as to whether you want your children to join our course or not, allow us to show you WHY they can benefit from it.
Allow us to cover all the basics. And, of course, expect a lot more, as we always want to go deeper when it comes to sharing our knowledge with our readers.
Let’s get onto it!
The Importance of Creativity for Children
We all know creativity is important because it’s something that’s talked about all the time. However, do we truly know why it matters? Are we fully aware of its implications and impact? In other words, do we understand the benefits it has for our children (and adults too)?
Shelley Berc explains the importance of creativity in the following manner:
Human beings are essentially born creative-from infancy on we find innovative ways to negotiate life. The most creative people find ways around obstacles because they see them not just as roadblocks but also as opportunities. Creativity expands our perceptions and along with expanded perceptions come new ways of problem solving-from making an exquisite meal when you don’t know how to cook to painting an extraordinary landscape when you are living in a freezing attic and can’t afford a full box of paints.
Now, some may say, “Well, it’s too early to have such expectations from my kid”, or “Why would ‘making an exquisite meal when you don’t know how to cook’ be considered a creative act?”. But here’s the thing: it’s the first sentence that’s key here. And it’s the one that shows us that creativity doesn’t have any age. It’s available to all age groups, and it starts from the moment we’re born. And it develops as we go through life. And how much we improve at being creative depends on how much we’re willing to foster our creativity.
How To Instill Creativity in Children?
Exploring their individuality
Allowing your children to explore their individuality not only enhances their creativity levels, but helps them grow as individuals too.
Each kid is a different human being - with their own story, their own needs, wishes, interests, hobbies, fears, and questions. By allowing them to explore their individuality, they not only learn about the world, but about themselves too.
You may read to your kids.
Kids may read to you.
They might even read to themselves.
No matter how you approach it - reading is one of the most valuable activities not only for brain development, but for boosting a kid's creativity too.
Reading allows children to explore various themes and topics, learn a lot about things they might’ve never heard of/read about, and understand things from a different perspective.
There are no disadvantages when it comes to introducing reading to your kid’s daily routine - only benefits.
Reduce screen time
Excessive screen time is something a lot of parents struggle with their kids nowadays. How do you reduce screen time without your kid losing it?
But before you think about how to reduce screen time, it’s important to understand why it matters so much to do it. Do you know that according to one study,
When you take a break from gathering data, you allow the brain to loosely explore and reconfigure information — which is why so many people have great ideas in the shower. TV and the Internet, however, interfere with this process — and unfortunately, more than two thirds of kids under 6 spend an average of two hours a day using some form of electronic media, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
This is eye-opening information. Yet, it’s not something we don’t really know. However, thinking about the actual impact years down the road - that’s what should wake us up.
Allow your children to explore the beauty of coloring books, as they are much more than just the act of coloring. In other words, coloring is not just a physical activity, but there’s so much more to it - from the feeling of mindfulness, to the creative trance, and all the way to developing patience to start something and finish it. It may sound silly, however, practice shows otherwise.
For instance, do you know that coloring also develops hand strength? This may especially come in handy if your child is in preschool or they’ve just started school. Coloring also helps children stay focused over a certain period of time, it improves their self-expression, and it helps stimulate the creative centers in their minds.
Another amazing way of nurturing your child’s creativity is by teaching them how to practice gratitude. Even scientific research suggests that “people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed”. And these people don't necessarily have to be adults - practicing gratitude is very beneficial for children as well. Yes, children can also practice an attitude of gratitude, if they know how to.
What’s more, gratitude helps individuals break free from their toxic feelings, and has long-lasting brain effects. Allegedly, based on the research we shared, the brain activity of the people who expressed gratitude was distinct from the brain activity monitored within individuals who simply felt guilt or obligated to help a cause (they included an activity related to donating money, and so they wanted to see which group of people was more willing to pass the money on to someone).
Now, with children, you don’t need any complicated gratitude activities or expecting them to engage in serious matters. It can be as simple as them realizing they can be grateful for having a best friend at school, getting new sneakers for Christmas, eating their favorite chocolate for dessert that day, and so on. Gratitude truly lies in the small things.
There are many ways you can approach this with your children: from helping them write thankful letters, creating a thankful tree, thankful cards, preparing a vision board and sticking pictures for the things they’re grateful for, to putting sticky gratitude notes in a plastic container and writing an actual gratitude journal. If your children opt for a gratitude journal, you may either encourage them to make one on their own, or you might purchase one for them instead. If you’re interested in the latter, make sure you don’t miss our Suggestions for Further Reading section, as we list several gratitude journals there!
Examples of Creativity in Everyday Lives of Children
If you ask several parents to tell you the types of toys they've recently purchased for their kids, you’ll probably hear all kinds of recommendations. Some may have bought Disney princess dolls and Barbie dolls; others might have bought cars, trucks, balls, and action figures; maybe also lego toys and figures, stuffed animals and plush toys, and so on.
However, one thing that most parents have bought for their children is paper and crayons in different colors. It’s very rare that a child doesn’t engage in drawing and painting. And even if they dislike arts activities, they’ve tried it at some point.
Art activities are much more than just playtime or parents finding a way to “do their own stuff” while they keep their kids busy and engaged. It’s a time when a lot of useful skills are learned and improved.
Benefits of art for children
For children, art is a way to communicate and express their feelings, worries, happiness, sadness, and confusion. It’s almost like therapy.
Art also helps children have fun. It allows them to explore colors, bond with other kids, and boost their creativity skills. It teaches patience and collaboration too. Remember when you’d use the yellow color to paint the Sun, however, you had to wait for the kid sitting next to you to finish painting the sky so that you could take the blue crayon afterward? It’s true - we’ve all been there.
Weird as it may sound, art may also boost a kid’s leadership skills. Not in the way you’d expect it though. What we refer to is a very simple situation: let’s imagine five kids sitting together and one of them draws an amazing flower. Now the four other kids wish to have the exact same flower on their papers too! And so what happens is, the kid who drew the flower ends up going from one kid to another, drawing it or showing them how to draw it on their papers. Then, the kid may also give suggestions as to what colors may be used to color the flower’s petals, and so on. And if one kid struggles with coloring, they might ask for help with this too. These situations not only teach kids leadership skills, but a bit of empathy too!
Art also engages a lot of the senses - they smell the crayons, markers, and watercolor paints; mix and compare different colors; and touch their coloring supplies and the paper they draw on.
Children get to build up their motor skills through art as well. Whether it’s cutting using scissors, squeezing a glue bottle, tearing paper, drawing shapes, lines, and dots - all these activities require fine coordination and precision. As children practice such activities over time, their dexterity increases.
Finally, what happens after children finish creating their art? Should parents keep it? Should they put it in the kid’s room? Should they bring it with them to work and put it somewhere as a decoration and a sweet memory?
But more importantly, should they comment on it? Especially in front of the child? Or even offer suggestions? In “Creativity in Childhood: The Role of Education,” Doirann O’Connor, from the University of Notre Dame Australia, writes: “Children’s creative outputs should not be subjected to judgement by adults, but instead viewed as a developmental process of creativity-building rather than an end result production process that requires comment.”
So, basically let your kid thrive while they produce art. After all, as funny as it may sound, there can never be enough child artists in the world.
How to approach this?
If you’re a parent:
- If your child shows artistic tendencies, will you support this? Why? Why not? Also, in case your child engages in art, do you think that’s something that’s going to last only throughout their childhood? In other words, do you believe those artistic passions will slowly go away over time?
- Let’s imagine their artistic passions don’t just go away. Put simply, they want to become a professional artist. Would you support this? Why? Why not? Would you try to affect their choices? If you do so, will you worry they may hold it against you one day?
- How would this apply to music, poetry (that is, creative writing in general), film, acting, dancing, handcraft, culinary arts, and so on? Do you deem all arts to be the same? Why? Why not? Is there one you prefer over the others? If yes, which one?
- Have you ever had the wish to be an artist yourself (if you happen to be an artist by any chance, disregard this part)? If you have, what type of artist did you wish to be? And why didn’t you become one? Would you do things differently from this point of view? What exactly would you do?
- Imagine your kid shows interest in graffiti. Would you be worried that this may mean they’ll become troubled teenagers? Do you think all street artists have criminal tendencies? Why? Why not? Where do such prejudices come from? Should such claims be challenged? Is graffiti really “the worst type of art out there”, as many people think?
- In general, how creative do you think your child is? Also, what makes you think that? In other words, how do you assess your child’s creativity? And also, how does your child usually show their creativity?
- How can you help your kid to nurture their creativity and artistic skills? What can you do?
- If you had to choose between taking your kid to a piano/acting/dance/painting class or a sports activity, which one would you choose? And why? Do you think one is more important than the other? If yes, which one? Or perhaps you believe both matter for different reasons?
- When you see your child engaging in a creative activity, such as painting, preparing a musical composition, or learning how to dance using a YouTube video, do you acknowledge their efforts? Do you say things like:
- “I’m so proud of you.”
- “You’re doing it so well.”
- “You’re getting better and better each day.”
- “Wow, you’re a natural!”
- What about if they struggle with it? In other words, what if they feel like they’re failing to properly paint the picture, can’t play the musical instrument in the way they’re supposed to, or dance like those YouTube dancers? Do you say something to encourage them such as:
- “It will be better next time.”
- “You’re still doing it great, despite what you may think/others may say.”
- “Don’t give up.”
- “You don’t have to be so critical of yourself.”
- “Do you need some help?”
If you’re a child*:
- Do you feel relaxed when you draw/paint/color?
- Do you sometimes feel “forced” to paint/draw/color? Have you ever said “No”? What happened next?
- When you color, do you sometimes wish to use colors in situations which are not very “logical”? For example, do you want to color the Sun in pink, the clouds green, the sky yellow, and so on? Have you ever done it? What have your parents told you? What about your art teacher?
- You go to your parent(s) with a painting you’ve just created. You show it to them, and they want to learn more about it. They ask you the following questions (so share your responses):
- Can you tell me more about your painting?
- What type of materials did you use to create it?
- Is there any special technique behind it? What’s it called?
- What prompted you to paint this?
- What’s your favorite part of this painting? Why?
- Does this painting have a name? If you have trouble naming it, maybe I can help?
- Is there anything you’re unhappy about (in regards to the painting)?
- Why did you _________ (ask a specific question in relation to the picture, such as why did you use blue for this girl’s dress, why is the boy taller than his dad, why are the followers withered, and so on)?
- How exactly did you ____________ (ask a question such as how did you draw the birds, make those circles, pick all the colors you used, created this unusual shape, and so on)?
- What if you ____________ (give specific suggestions about your kid’s painting such as what if you chose a different angle for the Sun, what if you draw three animals instead of one, to name a few)?
- What do you like about your painting? Also, what do you dislike about it?
- Would you make any changes to your painting? What exactly?
- What type of art do you usually prefer? Who’s your favorite artist? What do you like so much about them?
- Think about the following questions about graffiti and answer them:
- How do you feel about graffiti in general? Do you like them? Why? Why not
- Would you like to be a graffiti artist? What would be so unique about you as a graffiti artist?
- Have you ever taken part in graffiti creation? If you have, was it a fun experience? Would you do it again?
- Is there graffiti in the city you live in? What do you think about them? Do you think graffiti makes your city more beautiful or less? Why?
- Do people have the right to paint stuff on someone else’s property? Why? Why not? How would you feel if someone painted something on your house/building?
- How would your school director react if you were to use spray paint on the school building?
* We encourage you to engage your child and ask them the following questions. We’re sure you will both learn a lot not only from the questions themselves, but the answers and the overall discussion too!
Many believe that school and creativity don’t go together. And if you truly evaluate most school programs and their requirements, you’ll agree.
However, that doesn’t mean that that’s the way things are supposed to be. In fact, school should encourage creativity, not suppress it or disapprove of it. As Sir Ken Robinson put it, “creativity is as important now in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status.”
Pupils, whether middle schoolers or high schoolers, should be given the space to nourish their educational courtesy as well as explore their creativity and imagination. And this doesn’t mean that educators should constantly do something to encourage this.
In essence, creativity and imagination are developed over time. It includes a lot of questioning, analyzing, discussing, researching, and debating (of course, as much the pupils’ age and current knowledge allows for it to be applied).
Put simply, it’s supposed to come naturally to students.
That said, there are always specific activities and tasks that children can be asked to take part in. Here are such common examples of creative learning activities:
- younger pupils can make cars, trucks, robots, houses, animals, and so on out of cardboard boxes - then they can decorate and color it, and present it to the rest of the class;
- children can bring some old clothes from home and makeup kits along with some props and prepare for their drama class (not only are the drama classes creative on their own, but the actual preparation for a performance in front of the class is a separate creative experience too);
- use puppets to engage in storytelling and teach valuable points (this makes the process of learning much more enjoyable and memorable);
- for their music subject, pupils can use saucepan lids and wooden spoons as their drum kits instead of using the actual instruments;
- engage pupils physically in the classroom (not just when they have PE - physical education) by suggest rolling, sliding, twirling, hopping, marching, and so on;
- encourage all pupils to ask questions and think critically, and question the school materials, because as Jacob Bronowski put it: “It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it”, and so on.
Finally, children usually learn by doing - whether it’s copying from the board, comparing notes with their classmates, writing homework, or asking a lot of questions and going through the material on their own, children need to find the approach that works best for them.
How to approach this?
If you’re a parent:
- How do you expect teachers to understand and foster creativity in their classroom? Put simply, what are your expectations and requirements as a parent?
- Based on certain talks you’ve had with your child and/or their teachers, what can you say about:
- any recent educational experience of creativity they had?
- good examples of using creative tools in the classroom?
- bad examples of using creative tools in the classroom?
- Do you believe the understanding of what it means to include creativity within one’s classroom is changing (or have already changed)? Why? Why not? If they have, what are the reasons behind such changes?
- Do you think that the concept of creativity has become a bit of cliche in an educational context?
- Can creativity be applied in each domain of knowledge? Also, does it depend on the age of the children?
- If you compare your school years to those of your child, what would you say in terms of creativity? In essence, who received a much more creative education?
- Where is creativity most noticeable at school? In other words, tests and oral examinations is probably not where creativity sparks, however, team projects may probably be. What do you think? Provide several examples.
- What do you think: what’s the biggest obstacle to creativity in your child’s school? Is it the program itself, the teachers, or the pupils? Perhaps something entirely different?
- Do you believe certain creative skills are transferable? For instance, let’s say your child has signed up for drama classes at school and they need to “collaborate” with their peers on a school play. Do you think this is a creative way for your child to learn about collaboration as a life skill? Can you think of other such examples?
- Is creativity measurable and accessible? Why? Why not? If it is, how is it supposed to be measured/assessed?
- What questions would you ask your child to see whether the school program they participate in is fun, educational, and informative? Basically, how do you communicate with your child to find out what their school life looks like?
- Apart from the school as an institution and the teachers as educators, do you think you as a parent have a responsibility to contribute to your child’s creativity and school performance? Why? Why not?
- Fun last question: if you were given a million dollars to make changes to the current educational system, what would you do? Would you hire educational experts, teachers, and researchers to execute some plan? Would you consult pupils and their school needs? What type of approach would you adopt?
If you’re a child*:
- What do you think “being creative” at school means?
- How do you feel about going to school in general? Is it an enjoyable experience for you or is it a boring one? Is there any excitement about it? It doesn’t necessarily have to be connected with your classes - it may include seeing your friends, playing sports after classes within the school premises, eating breakfast with your classmates, and so on? On the whole, how will you describe your experience regarding going to school?
- Which teacher is your favorite one? Why? How does their approach and behavior differ from that of the rest of the teachers? Can you give some specific examples?
- Which teacher is the most creative one in your school? Why? What do they do? Does their creativity also stimulate you to do your best?
- Does your school allow you to develop your ideas and express your creativity freely? How?
- Does being creative in your school involve the Internet and specific online tools? Why? Why not?
- Do you like group projects and team work? Why? Why not? Or perhaps you prefer individual work? Which situation motivates you more?
- Does your school appreciate creative behavior? Also, does it reward it in any way?
- Are you allowed to initiate projects and ideas in your school? If you’re not, why is that so?
- Does your school listen to pupils’ needs and wishes (of course, as long as they’re reasonable, feasible, educational, and in the highest good for the children studying there)?
- Do your teachers allow pupils to personalize their own learning experiences or do they try to “fit all kids in the same box”?
- Finish the sentence: “I think my school could be much more creative if_____________”.
- Think about an important creative experience you had at school and rate the following statements from 1-10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), depending on how much you agree with them:
- I was really happy while I was doing it.
- I did it on my own.
- I did it with a classmate.
- I had a lot of time to work on it.
- I had very little time to work on it.
- I felt proud about what I achieved.
- My teacher helped a bit.
- My teacher helped a lot.
- My teacher didn’t help at all.
- I put in a lot of effort into it.
- It was really easy to do.
- I had to concrete really hard, but it was totally worth it.
- I just had to use my intuition and previous knowledge, and it was fine.
- This experience taught me a lot.
- This experience wasn’t anything special, and I don’t feel I learned a lot from it.
- I want to do it again.
- I don’t want to do it again.
* The same recommendation from the previous section applies here too.
Many think children don’t have problems. Or at least that they’re not supposed to have them. However, just because children don’t experience financial hardship, can’t get fired, aren’t thinking whether to divorce their partner or not, and so on, doesn’t mean they don’t have problems.
Just try taking your kid to the nearest supermarket and ask them to choose ONE chocolate (chances are you’ve probably done this anyway). You’ll probably spend an hour in the market, and they still won’t be able to make up their mind.
However, just because children’s problems don't look or sound as serious as those adults have, doesn’t mean they’re less relevant or meaningful. They’re serious to them, and it’s our responsibility as parents and adults to treat them as such.
And what better way to encourage our children to resolve their problems than asking them to do it in a creative manner? What better way to stimulate their growth and expansion than to expect them to think and act outside of the box?
Maybe concepts and phrases such as solving problems in a creative manner and thinking outside the box have become mainstream and sound like a cliche, however, if they’re applied properly they bring amazing results to those who know how to use them.
And the more encouraging parents are, the better problem solvers their kids will become.
That said, it’s worth noting that certain children do experience bigger problems in life. Whether it’s the loss of their sibling/parent, adjusting to a new country, being bullied, and so on, such things are not only serious and painful, but they may come with permanent consequences and issues for many children.
Starting at an early age
Regardless of what problems kids face in their lives, it’s important to make them realize they need to approach the process of problem solving at an early age. In other words, you need to allow them to make decisions on their own. And here’s why: as children get older, the decisions they need to make get more difficult too, so it’s essential to teach them about responsibility, decision-making, and problem-solving from an early age.
Even if that sometimes means they insist on wearing different socks. Even if that means they don’t bring a jacket with them, and end up catching a cold. Even if that means they refuse to eat the dinner you’ve prepared, and go to bed hungry that night.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to how to make your children better problem solvers. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care at all, or that you should just let them do things on their own.
It means you need to find a nice balance between when to allow your kid to solve their stuff, and when to intervene and “take matters into your own hands”.
And you know what?
You’ll probably realize that choosing between these two options also puts your own problem-solving skills to test. But that’s okay. After all, educating your child helps you grow not only as a parent, but as a person too.
How to approach this?
If you’re a parent:
- Do you think you have a child who will be able to make important decisions independently when they grow up? What’s more, do you think they possess such qualities at this point? Why? Why not?
- Do you perceive your child as an indecisive individual at times? If you do, how can you tell? Think of several examples.
- Do you tend to solve problems for your kid instead of letting them solve things on their own? When do you interfere and when do you let them handle things the way they think it’s best?
- Which of the following questions would you ask your child when they’re in the middle of making a decision/solving a problem:
- How can you better handle this problem/make this decision?
- Do you need more time to think about this?
- Why do you think that way?
- Have you talked to someone else about this? Why? Why not?
- What will happen if you don’t resolve this problem/make this decision?
- What will happen if you postpone resolving this problem/making this decision?
- Which of the following questions would you ask your child after they’ve made a decision/solved a problem:
- Was this difficult? Why? Why not?
- Do you think you made the right decision/solved the problem accurately?
- What did you learn from this?
- Was it easy? Was it hard?
- Would you do things differently the next time? If yes, what would you change?
- Does your child come to you when they can’t solve a problem or make a decision? And if they do, do you always help them? Have you ever refused to provide assistance? If you have, what was the situation about?
- Do you think it’s useful for kids to break down their problems in chunks? For instance, let’s say the school year is coming to an end, but your kid has a poor grade in Geography. Instead of forcing them to focus on the end goal (which is getting a higher grade), ask them to first start reflecting on the problem. Ask them:
- Why do you have a poor grade in Geography?
- Can you do something about it at this point?
- If you can, where would you start? Why don’t you start by revising the most important lessons you may have missed/haven’t learned when the teacher was teaching them? Are there any homework assignments you may have missed? Is it too late to do them now?
- Should you let your kid make a bad decision? Why? Why not? What may come out of such an experience?
- What does problem solving mean for children? How do you understand it?
- What are some useful problem-solving skills for children? And how can you teach them those skills?
If you’re a child*:
- Do you ever wonder how your decisions influence the others around you, such as your parents or your other siblings?
- Can you think of any big mistake you’ve made this week? What happened? Where did it happen? Did you let someone know? How did you feel afterward? Are your parents aware of what happened? If they are, what was their reaction?
- What’s something that happened to you recently which makes you think hard about your life/school/grades/family? What’s so special about that event?
- What are some challenges that you need to work on? For example, do you hate getting up early in the morning and so you end up being late for school? Perhaps you eat very slowly and you’re the last kid in the school canteen? Or you can’t manage to copy everything from the board and the teacher ends up erasing it so that they can move on with the lecture?
- Can you think of something new you learned today at school? What was it? How can that help you in the future? Was there anything that made you feel kind of “stuck” today? Did you have to think about how to “unstuck” yourself? Put simply, did you have to make any important decisions today at school?
- Is there anything you could have done better today? For example, maybe you could have worn different shoes because it was raining, and you got all wet, but couldn’t go home and change, as you were already at school. Or you could have eaten something at home because you had an important test at school during your first class and you couldn’t properly think (your stomach was making that funny hungry sound). Maybe you should have written homework because the teacher gave you a minus, and now you have three minuses (which might result in a lower grade at the end of the school year).
- Is the process of solving problems stressful to you? If it is, what do you feel? Does your head start hurting? Perhaps your stomach? Or do you just feel sad and confused? If you feel unwell, what helps you relax?
- Which of the following questions do you ask yourself before you solve a problem:
- Do I need to think about this more? Why? Why not?
- What exactly is the problem I’m trying to solve? How do I feel about it?
- What are some of the possible solutions? How do I pick one?
- What would happen if….?
- Next time you struggle to solve a problem, think of these questions:
- What do I need?
- What can I do?
- What do I truly want?
- Let’s play a game. Would you rather:
- have a lot of good friends or a single best friend?
- give up your TV or give up your phone?
- share your cookies with your sibling or your friend?
- take a physics test or a maths test?
- have a cat or a dog?
- eat pizza or a burger?
- go to school or clean your room?
* Repeat the same steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a creative child look like?
A creative child can appear in tons of different ways. And it’s not like one is better than the other. Whatever makes your child feel creative and happy - that’s the thing they need to continue doing.
With that said, there are some commonly accepted skills, qualities, and behaviors that a creative child is said to possess. Here are some of them:
- not being afraid to challenge set notions and rules;
- finding new and innovative ways to use random things (for instance, using a simple box as their fortress);
- learning from others;
- having their own way of doing things (doesn’t really conform to other kids’ suggestions);
- being surrounded by art literature, nature, and music;
- pursuing their passions, gifts, and wishes.
Is there such a thing as creative parenting?
It’s already clear that you can teach in a creative manner, behave in a creative way, as well as think creatively, however, can you also parent in a creative manner?
Apparently yes. You can absolutely have a creative parenting mindset. Creative parenting isn’t all fun and games though. In other words, just because you wish to adopt a more creative and a less common approach toward parenting your kids doesn’t mean you’re not strict or responsible as a parent.
On the contrary - it means you’ve taken your role as a parent very seriously, but you don’t want to conform to the more “traditional” parenting methods.
That said, a creative parenting mindset isn’t anything revolutionary or innovative. It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all solution. But if you wish to get inspired, and simply get some ideas as to how you can refine your parenting approach, here are our suggestions:
- spending high-quality time with your children (sometimes even making plans well in advance to give you both something to look forward to);
- initiating activities such as going hiking, watching a movie together, making pancakes, helping them with a problematic homework you may need to get done, and so on (this really goes hand in hand with our first suggestion);
- consulting your children about decisions which may concern them (also, asking them how they feel about it, what they have to add, and so on);
- abandoning parenting strategies that don’t seem to work, although other parents may still be holding onto them;
- helping your kid develop empathy, while you improve yours too;
- not caring so much about what other people think about your parenting style (or falling a victim to narrow-minded parenting suggestions);
- always trying to understand your child (even when things don’t make sense);
- helping your kid adapt to their environment and solve problems with greater maturity;
Finally, as a parent, you need to always be open to new parenting approaches and suggestions (that doesn’t mean you need to accept all of them, however, just being willing to hear about new things will definitely help in your parenting endeavors).
Suggestions for Further Reading
If you think your children will benefit by exploring the topic of creativity further, we must say we absolutely agree!
There are many ways to do this, however, we believe books are always a source of knowledge and a good way to get started. With that being said, when it comes to creativity, we aren’t just talking about any books, but those that will put your children in a new, imaginative world, and make them forget about their current reality, getting their creative juices flowing.
Without any further ado, here are our suggestions:
- The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds
- Beautiful Oops!, by Barney Saltzberg
- What Do You Do with an Idea?, by Kobi Yamada
- The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt
- Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, by Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
- The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids: 500 Activities to Encourage Creativity in Kids Ages 2 to 12--Play, Pretend, Draw, Dance, Sing, Write, Build, Tinker, by Bobbi Conner
- The 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids: A Journal to Teach Children to Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness, by Modern Kid Press
- Mindfulness for Kids: A Journal for Children Age 6-12 to Stay Calm & Happy and to Reduce Anxiety, by June & Lucy Kids
- Happy Mindset Little Journal: Kids Interactive Journal Prompts and Daily Activities to Help Children Develop a Growth Mindset. Colorful, Self-Learning and Fun! (Ages 6-12), by Claudia Liem and Adriana Liem
- Question a Day Journal for Kids: 365 Days to Capture Memories and Express Yourself, by MaryAnne Kochenderfer
- Growth Mindset Workbook for Kids: 55 Fun Activities to Think Creatively, Solve Problems, and Love Learning, by Peyton Curley
- Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering (Modern Calligraphy Series), by Paige Tate Select
- Unicorn Colouring Book: For Kids ages 4-8, by Bear Silly
- Harry Potter Colouring Book Celebratory Edition: The Best of Harry Potter Colouring - an official colouring book, by Warner Bros
- Princess Stoner Coloring Book: Great Stoner Coloring Book For Kids and Adults, by Kristine Heinecke
- An Inspirational Colouring Book For Everyone: Be Fearless In The Pursuit Of What Sets Your Soul On Fire, by Papeterie Bleu
- This Girl Is On Fire:: A Positive Adult Coloring Book For Women & Girls Of All Ages. An Anxiety Reducing Coloring Book For Adult & Teen Girls, by The Simple Press Company
And if you feel like coloring books aren’t just for kids (which you’re right to assume - do you know that there’s a lot of research that talks about the benefits of coloring books for adults?), then we have something for you too. It’s the You Fucking Got This : Motivational Swear Words Coloring Book: Swear Word Colouring Books for Adults: Swearing Colouring Book Pages for Stress Relief Funny Journals and Adult Coloring Books by Bridget Coloring Press.
A Little Something for You Before You Go….
Before you go… we have something for you too!
Well, we have a few things, really.
First of all, we’d like to invite you to take a look at our other article on Creativity, as it’s aimed at adults, so it may help you make a nice parallel between fostering creativity in children and adults, but also explain why adults should do the same as well!
Now onto the next thing! In this section, we’re sharing several quotes about creativity to:
- get you to think unconventionally;
- invite you to discuss them with your child (in a way that’s understandable for them), friend, partner, and so on;
- and make you reflect on what others have said about this particular subject.
So, here they are!
- “The creative adult is the child who survived."
- How would you interpret this quote? Do you think of yourself as a creative individual? In what way? Do you believe you’ve managed to keep your inner child alive all these years? How so?
- “Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of man. Nothing was ever created by two men. There are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy. Once the miracle of creation has taken place, the group can build and extend it, but the group never invents anything. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of a man.”
- How do you feel about individual work and creation? Do you think individual achievements are better than group work? Why? Why not? What kind of experiences have you had so far? Do you think it’s nice if a person is able to engage in both? Do you agree that “there are no good collaborations, whether in music, in art, in poetry, in mathematics, in philosophy”? Is this too harsh and narrow-minded? Perhaps it’s absolutely truthful? How would you assess such a statement?
- "Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun."
- In what way is creativity all these things: “inventing”. “growing”, “taking risks”, “breaking rules”, “making mistakes”, and “having fun”? Can you think about some personal experiences you may have had?
- For instance, does the act of inventing only refer to creating new things, such as the printing press, the telephone, the TV, penicillin, and so on? In essence, do you have to be a “professional” inventor? Or can it have a much broader sense? Do you think of yourself as a potential inventor?
- What about growing? How do you understand this? Is it about growing as a person?
- Let’s move to taking risks. Are you a risk-taker? Why? Why not? Do you think intelligent and creative people oftentimes are required to take a lot of risks to fulfil their goals?
- How do you feel about breaking rules? Is each act of breaking a rule an act of creativity?
- When’s the last time you’ve made a mistake? What was it about? Were you able to fix it?
- How do you usually have fun? In other words, what’s your definition of fun?
- In what way is creativity all these things: “inventing”. “growing”, “taking risks”, “breaking rules”, “making mistakes”, and “having fun”? Can you think about some personal experiences you may have had?
- “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”
- Do you think this quote only applies in an artistic context, considering that it comes from an artist? Why? Why not? Do you feel that you ask yourself the same questions that the quote suggests?
- “I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”
- What do you make of this quote? How would you compare rational thinking and creative thinking? Do you think one matters more than the other? If yes, which one, and why? Also, do you perhaps believe that creative solutions can be achieved through rational thinking too? If yes, how?
- “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.”
- Do you agree with the statement that “everyone is born creative”? Why? Why not? Is creativity something that’s learned or is it something that comes naturally? What do you think - how do different periods in one’s life impact one’s creativity levels? Are there periods when people are more creative? Finally, have you already “asked for your crayons''? Why? Why not?
Walt Disney once said: “Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
And here, at Skill Sprout, we do the same. We always try to look ahead, and feed our minds with new ideas and suggestions. That’s actually how we create our courses. And this one, the creativity course, is no exception.
So why should your child take our course? Here are some reasons:
- they’ll be able to discuss what it means to be creative;
- they can develop strategies to comprehend problems in a much better way;
- they can start seeing failure as a learning opportunity rather than as something negative;
- they can help other children embrace their creative side and potential, and so on.
We’re always here to answer any additional questions you may have, however, the real question you should be asking yourself is: “When and where do I sign up my kid”?
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