There is a common misconception that some children are born creative, and some are not. The reality is quite different. Absolutely everyone has the ability to be creative! A popular quote by Picasso goes “Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up”. If an extremely talented runner suddenly stopped training months before a huge race, how do you think their performance would turn out? The same goes for a dancer who never practices or an artist who never paints. Creativity is like a muscle, the more you work it out, the stronger it becomes. At Greater Scholars we have shifted away from the idea that Creativity is a natural talent. We believe it is a way of thinking that can and should be nurtured in children. Creativity plays a significant role in problem solving, development and self-expression. Here are five ways you can encourage creativity in your child:
1. Nurture problem-solving skills:
Give your children the opportunity to solve potential problems that may come up within the household i.e. There is too much water being wasted in the house. What should we do about it? This helps children feel included, gives them the opportunity to think creatively and allows them to understand the thought process behind their actions.
2. Encourage reading for the fun of it!
Reading plays a huge role in developing creativity in children. It’s one of the reasons we set a 150 book per school year reading goal for Greater Scholars students! Reading widely exposes children to new ways of thinking, seeing and understanding information thereby inspiring creativity.
3. Expose them to new experiences
Activate your children's senses by exposing them to new experiences and activities. Teach your child to think outside the box by literally taking them outside of the box. Take them to places outside of where they would routinely visit and do fun activities that will help their imagination flow.Take them to art galleries, bookstores, museums and other places that will get their senses tingling.
4. Resist the urge to micro-manage play
As parents we tend to make most decisions for our children down to what they wear and how they play. This can actually be counterproductive in helping children develop their creativity. As much as possible (and keeping safety in mind!), let your child lead the way in play – resist the urge to interject or guide the process of play. Simply let yourself be a pawn in their creative world. You’ll be surprised how creative your child can be!
5. Pay attention to their interests and help to pursue them
What better way to encourage creativity in your child than by leveraging on their interests? Pay attention to your child’s interests and nurture them by making materials and activities needed to explore their passions available. Like we said earlier, Creativity is like a muscle, the more you work it out, the stronger it becomes. For example, if you have a child interested in fine art, you can help to work their creativity by providing them with art supplies and useful art books as well as taking them to art galleries and workshops.