Four ways to foster your child’s creativity
Children are born creative! By giving them the space they need to express themselves they learn to problem solve and become more confident, adaptable learners. Here are some ways you can help foster their creativity.
By Hannah Porter
Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a messy play kind of Mum! I love the idea, but in practice my anxiety skyrockets. It find it hard to watch my children pour water into the playdough I’ve just made, then to see them add a whole lot of dirt from the garden. But as much as it makes me uncomfortable, they’re learning and are developing that creative brain!
Studies have shown that the best way we can equip our kids for the years ahead is to nurture their creativity. Through different experiences, creative activities, and allowing our children to play freely with a range of materials, they develop skills in problem solving, resilience, concentration, and flexible thinking. These skills are essential in helping them become more adaptable (and successful!) when they’re older.
Here are some ways you can spark curiosity and inspire the imagination of your little ones so they can become more confident, resilient, positive and adaptable learners!
Provide them with the resources they need to express themselves
Children are born creative and are at the height of their imagination between the ages of 2 and 7 years old. As they grow, more and more rules are put upon them that can dampen their natural creativity.
Try to step back and give them the space to watch them play the way they want to, without interfering. Provide them with the resources they need to spark their creativity and find what they enjoy. Often the simplest things can be the most interesting, so let them look at things differently so they can “think outside of the box.” Even if that leads to a bit of mess!
Some of our favourite resources are:
- Dress ups
- Messy Mat - to protect the floor, of course!
- Natural Watercolour Paints paired with the My First Paintbrush Set
- Honeysticks Crayons
- Little Brian Paint Sticks
- Navy Baby Messy Play Set
Let them be bored
Because I am constantly busy, when I’m trying to get things done, I often end up giving in to the kids request for device time as I know it will keep them quiet.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but I have to remember there’s also nothing wrong with kids being a bit bored either! Boredom inspires creativity, as it gives them time to "think" and come up with ideas on their own. If I give them the space (and ignore the moaning), they’ll eventually come up with a new game to play, rediscover something, or explore what’s around them to entertain themselves.
Some of the products we have that inspire creativity are:
Encourage them to try new things
When kids are young, everything is so new and exciting! By exposing your children to a range of experiences, they figure out what their strengths are, and where their talents lie. If they show an interest in something, encourage it!
By encouraging our kids to give things a go, without worrying about ‘having to be good at it’, we help them build confidence and healthy self-esteem. One of the best ways to encourage your child is by getting involved and also giving things a go yourself! It shows that you aren’t worried about being silly or failing, which is all part of building a growth mindset.
Spend time outdoors
Spending time outdoors is one of the best ways for children to boost their creativity. When children spend time in nature, they develop their imagination through so many different experiences that engage all their senses.
When they stop and listen, they might hear the sounds of the birds or rushing water down a stream. If there’s mud, let them play in it and get dirty! Let them bring the rocks or acorns home, even if you don’t particularly want them in the house! Hadley loves a ‘special rock’ (note - they’re all special apparently!). Just being in different surroundings where they can explore and run around, they’re creating new connections, using their imagination and developing their creativity!
Check out some of our wet weather gear if you need anything to keep your kids dry while you play outdoors.
Children are naturally curious and creative. By letting them explore and do things ‘their way’, we’re enabling them to come up with new ways of doing things that helps build their self esteem, resilience and adaptability. So give them the unstructured play they need to learn and make their own fun! After all, children are our future leaders and innovators!