What Can Parents Do to Inspire Creativity in Kids
First, let’s clear a few things up. Creativity is not contractually bound to visual arts such as painting and drawing. Just because a child can’t express his ideas in his drawings or you think they lack talent in visual arts does not mean they are not creative. You may have just been looking for creativity in a different place, mister art critic.
Creative thinking has much significance in our day-to-day lives. It needs to be nourished at children’s level so they can understand things from a novel point of view. Creative ability involves problem-solving abilities and innovation skills. The best creative thinkers are able to generate unique ideas and solutions by breaking away from conventional ways of thinking.
Keep in mind that your point of view and the kids’ point of view may differ. Don’t push your view on them, and don’t dismiss their ideas as nonsense. Their ideas may not be well-informed because they are kids, but it doesn’t mean it was nonsense. Our role is to supply them with what we know and just leave them to create new ideas. Just always be ready to listen and correct them if needed.
Creativity in children can manifest in a lot of different ways, from art projects to storytelling. And the first step in cultivating creativity is to find out their interests.
Encourage Their Interests
It may not be just one interest, and it may not be a long-lasting interest, so be patient and understanding. It’s not like most adults got it all figured out, right? Support their interests and be ready for any changes.
Encourage Them to Explore
Creativity needs inspiration, so have them explore new things, environments, and situations. Have them go on adventures and explore possibilities. Of course, be there to clear any misunderstandings and be ready to share your experiences as an adventurer before you took an arrow to your knee.
Let Your Kids Know that Mistakes Are a Natural Part of Learning and Growing Up
Don’t be such a perfectionist. Nobody’s perfect, and certainly not kids. When they make mistakes, you correct them or punish them but make sure they understand that it’s okay to make mistakes and that they can try again. The thought that they can try again means it’s alright to do something different and find their own flow.
Allow them to take risks in life without feeling like they’ll be punished for failing miserably. Critical thinking is always present in children and is a vital ingredient for the creative process. What we need to avoid is stopping their learning process by forcing our tried and tested methods on them. Give them a little freedom to figure things out on their own and understand their limits and capabilities in problem-solving.
Introduce Them to Different Cultures Through Books, Music, Food
As mentioned before, creativity needs inspiration. We can find that from nature and other artistic creations. Introduce other artists, authors, musicians, tacticians, along with their artwork and influences. You don’t have to do in-depth research and force it on them; introduce them and give the child access to find out more about it.
Existing art will influence your child’s creative thinking, and it’s best to let them find their influences on their own. You might like other artists, but your taste has nothing to do with your child’s preferences. So please don’t force John, Paul, George, and Ringo on your kid’s playlist right after Ghetto Gospel.
Be Supportive when They Want to Pursue Something
Support is one of the best things we can give our kids. Support their endeavors, be it creative activities or a business plan. But keep in mind that you should also guide them in the right direction. Permit them to make mistakes, allow them to redeem themselves but know when to tell them when it’s not right. There is a difference between supporting a child and cultivating bad habits; make sure to know where to draw the line.
Now that we know what to do and not to do to get the creative juices flowing, the kids need an outlet for all these ideas.
Provide Them with A Variety of Art Supplies
Not just for the kids interested in visual arts but for all the kids with whatever inclination. Provide a steady supply of pencils, erasers, paint, canvas, paper, and everything they ask for. The kids may not know how to express these ideas perfectly yet, but putting them on paper in one form or the other is an excellent place to start.
Some parents would even encourage their kids to draw on their house walls. It is a good idea since the output would be visible to everyone, and the walls are pretty large spaces for all those great ideas. But, this needs a lot of preparation for the walls and the parents, so don’t jump into that if you’re not ready.
Ask Open-Ended Questions and Allow Them to Answer in Their Own Way.
Simple activities like these may seem nonessential to creativity, but it helps kids to practice analytical thinking and social skills. This helps them construct ideas on their own and figuring out a way to express these ideas fluently and coherently. It is also a good exercise for the brain and would help them organize thoughts for better output on creative projects. If they are having trouble expressing it in words alone, have them use their preferred art material to help them explain their thoughts to you. It would help if you can give them corrections if needed and ask effective follow-up questions.
Give Them Time on The Weekends or After School for Creative Projects without Interruption
Grant them the time and place to create something out of their own ideas and hands-on their own. It could be a long project or a quick new project every time. Just make sure they don’t start to neglect everything else when they’re in their art space or creative zone. Set a limit on how much time in the day they can put into creating their masterpiece.
Read up On Art Appreciation and Art Stuff
More often than not, kids will come to you for critique and praise. It would be nice if you knew the bare minimum on the subject you critique. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t have to lose your personal taste and preferences. Just make sure to be gentle when you tell them that you don’t like certain art styles like anime or jazz, you monster.
Joking aside, it is very important to let the kids know that they can improve on whatever creative projects they choose and that you are there to support and cheer for them. Give them praise for the effort to better themselves and their work and not for the output they come up with. And the best motivation for art is the appreciation we get from the people we hold dear.
So, remember: be gentle with that critique, be patient with their creative process, and give them lots of love. And as always, have fun with the kids!