Natural creativity

Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Creativity

Posted on November 28, 2018 : Posted in Legacy Academy, Parenting Tips

Natural creativity

Cardboard boxes become spaceships. Sticks become magic wands. Stuffed animals become dearest friends. Children have amazing imaginations, and their natural creativity is both inspiring and delightful. As a parent, there are many ways you can foster your child’s creativity. Here are a few suggestions to help you encourage your child to spread his or her imaginary wings.

Limit Screen Time

Every busy parent knows that screen time can be a lifesaver on exhausting days. At the same time, when a child spends too much time in front of the television or playing electronic games, their imagination is taken over by the characters and storylines they are watching. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between the ages of 2-5 have no more than 1 hour of screen time a day. The AAP also recommends that if at all possible, parents participate in their child’s screen time by watching or sitting alongside their child. Obviously, this is not always possible, but it is worth striving for. The less screen time a child has, the more likely it is that he will have the opportunity and desire to use his imagination to create his own stories and creations.

Encourage Open-Ended Play

There are plenty of toys on the market that are intended for a particular type of play. While these toys can be fun, they are also very limiting and tend to stifle a child’s creativity. If possible, provide your child with more open-ended play. This would include toys like building blocks, dolls and stuffed animals, dress-up clothes, and pretend play sets (kitchen, tool bench, etc.). These types of playthings offer endless opportunities for exploration and imagination, allowing your child’s natural curiosity to blossom.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Participating in your child’s imagination gives you the chance to not only enjoy her excitement about the world, but it also encourages your child to think outside of herself. Your questions don’t need to be particularly creative. Simply asking your child about where she would like to travel, who she wants to be, and how she thinks the world works will stimulate her mind. Tell a story together as you go for a walk, or rename all the animals you can think of according to how they walk. Being creative with another person is a wonderful tool to expand her imagination.

Create Things Together

We mentioned above that telling a story is a wonderful way to be creative. But there are many tangible ways to express creativity too. Keeping arts and crafts supplies on hand will give you the opportunity to create things together. Whether you prefer to sculpt with clay, paint, or make 3D sculptures with pipe cleaners and beads, the sky’s the limit when you are an artist. Encourage your child to make something inspired by a book he has read or a person he knows. Ask him questions about his creations and recognize the thought and hard work he puts into them. While your child might not grow to be an artist, every creation he makes encourages him to see the world a little differently and expands his appreciation for artistry and effort.

Try to Focus on the Process

It’s easy, as adults with more experience, to try to guide children in the “right way” to do things, rather than allowing them to figure it out. This tends to make us very practical and even bossy when our children want to express their natural curiosity in unconventional ways. As your children grow, try not to focus on the outcome of their efforts, but value the process instead. Every time your child tries something and fails, they learn something. In fact, mistakes are absolutely vital to learning. Also, just because your child decides to do something in an unconventional way does not mean she is wrong. Try to be open to your child’s unique process, even if it seems crazy to you. Your willingness to support will go a long way toward building your child’s confidence and ability.

Children are scientists and artists from the moment they are born. They try new things to learn what will happen. They create new things to show parts of themselves. It is a joy and an honor to come alongside them as they learn more about themselves and the world. Are you looking for childcare that will encourage your child’s natural curiosity and imagination? Legacy Academy Flynn Crossing is a rich learning environment where children have the opportunity to explore every day. Call or visit today to learn more.