Boost your child’s creativity: Five sure-fire ways to get them ticking
Creativity is the ability to make new things or think up new ideas. That said, what is the value of making new things that don’t serve a purpose or meet people’s needs? The purpose of that question is to show the direction you have to tailor your child’s creativity – solving real life issues. For children, however, the process begins with free expressions spurred by their active imagination.
Sometimes, these expressions don’t make sense due to the children’s inability to gather their thoughts coherently. It is especially at this moment where parents must be smart and help their child nurture their creativity. But what is obtainable in most Nigerian homes is children shoe-honed to think in a pre-established way till their creativity is eventually made docile. Also, the education system in the country also plays a major part in fostering this culture.
Before talking on how you can boost your child’s creativity, it is important to state the benefits of creativity to a child’s development for proper perspective.
1. Children grow to become better at problem-solving as well as critical thinking the more they are allowed to explore their imaginations.
2. Children who express themselves through activities such as artwork learn to communicate their internal feelings better thus developing a stronger emotional base from early on.
3. Creative activities like drawing and painting can help children fine tune their motor skills such as hand-eye coordination.
4. Encouraging group activities that incorporate creativity help build a child’s social skills such as friendship as well as helping them learn teamwork.
How to foster creativity in your child
1. Be deliberate about it: Knowing that you play a crucial role in your child’s development and actively creating an enabling environment is the first step. Don’t leave it to chances, have activities planned regularly. Take them out to art exhibitions, spoken words and poetry events, book readings, and so on. Help them create an appreciation for the art of creation.
2. Provide the space and resources: No matter how small, have separate spaces where your kids can readily express themselves in arts and craft, music, or play. You should design the space such that it is easy to handle whatever mess your kids make. If the chance avails itself, you can create two spaces – indoor and outdoor. Also, readily have the resources they need to create such as cardboards, crayons, paints, canvass, pencils, erasers, Lego pieces, costumes, and much more.
3. Make your home a haven for creativity: Create an environment that doesn’t restrict nor limit your child. Allow kids make mistakes and fail too by encouraging them to take risks with their creative endeavours. You also do this by relaxing structure and making their creative time more kid-friendly. Celebrate their wins by hanging their artwork, or playing their music seasons to visitors.
4. Emphasize process and joy of participation over the final product: Encourage your kids to enjoy all they do – they will anyways, they are kids after all. However, it is imperative they know it’s not just about the end product, but also about the process itself. You can do this by asking them if they had fun, what they learnt and feel about the activity.
5. Limit their screen time: A lot of screen time – TV, smartphone, tablet – reduces the time your kids can spend on creative activities. While there are creative things to do on smartphones such as coding on Scratch, the likely distractions from games make more hands-on activities advisable.
In summary, there are no limits to what you can do to foster your child’s creativity asides the ones listed above. Early childhood is very critical to imagination and creativity, help your kids nurture it, and you’ll be doing them and humanity a great service.
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