Children have no boundaries. They simply haven’t learned them yet. They say what they’re thinking, and they let their minds wander to places we have long forgotten.
It’s important that we foster and nurture this creativity. The creative process gives children the opportunity to express and cope with their feelings. It also helps teachers and parents learn more about what a child may be thinking or feeling. Kids learn and grow by trying out new ideas, new ways of thinking, and solving problems through the creative process. Their uniqueness and diversity comes out when they’re being creative and it’s their opportunity to embrace everything that makes them who they are and who they want to be.
So as teachers and parents, it’s important for us to boost that creativity as much as we can. Here are a few ways to encourage the little minds in our lives.
- Encourage Them to Read Books
Think of all the places their minds go when they sit down and read a book. Sure – they can watch the movie, but with a book they are creating a world for themselves. It exercises the brain and helps them learn to focus in a way that watching TV or movies cannot. When they read about a world, their whole mind has to work to envision it, and they find themselves taking liberties and adding their own elements – the elements that are unique to them.
- Let Them Take Naps When They’re Tired
When a growing mind doesn’t get enough sleep, the child loses focus. They become cranky and irritable, sometimes even depressed. In the long-run, a lack of sleep can have even more serious health problems. That’s why when your daydreamer wants to do some real dreaming, it’s important to ensure they’re getting the best rest possible.
- Have a Special Creation Station
Designate a special spot in your home where the creativity can run wild. Use chalkboard paint to create walls perfect for drawing. Lay down tarps so they don’t have to worry about paint on the carpet. Put dress up clothes in the closet and let them select their outfit. Let it be 100% a place for them to be free to be them.
- Join in the Fun
There are plenty of ways you, as an adult, can foster your kids’ creativity, but the best way is to get creative with them. Let them lead you into their world. Don’t evaluate or criticize, just let them tell you about the world their creating that day. Encourage them to come up with new things to try, but don’t tell them what to do. Let them fail and let them know mistakes are how we learn what to do next. You can even tell them ways you’ve messed up and laugh. Learning to laugh at our mistakes is a lesson you can’t learn too early.
Encouraging children to be creative is more than dress-up or arts and crafts. It’s teaching them to think in different ways, to see the world through a new lens. It’s a valuable skill for anyone to have and by providing an encouraging environment, you’ll be giving them this amazing gift.