Children are naturally creative when they’re small. They embrace all forms of creativity, painting, drawing, modelling, acting and singing and they do it without self-consciousness. Without any hint of shyness or self-judgement.
As they grow and become more self-aware, they begin to realise that their work isn’t ‘perfect’. They find fault in it, compare it to the work of others and soon, if we’re not careful, we have a child who is reluctant to attempt creativity in any form.
Why creativity is important
Whether your child is going to follow a creative path in their adult life or not, it’s vital that they continue to grow creatively because creativity is a path to better learning.
Music, art and performance all play a part in academics because the portion of the brain which is engaged during creativity can be developed more effectively and research shows that children who regularly participate in artistic endeavours, do better on tests.
Schools like this generally achieve better exam results – it’s important to encourage children’s development in all areas. Then there’s the fact that creativity reduces stress and increases happiness. That’s not to be ignored – depression in childhood is a serious issue and with children spending more and more time on devices, it’s important that parents encourage them to be as creative as possible as often as possible.
How to boost your child’s creativity quickly
There are many ways in which you can make creativity part of your child’s life. Here are some of the easiest and most effective.
Visit art galleries – most towns have regular exhibitions even if there’s no art gallery. Look in your local news pages for updates.
Provide the materials – keep plenty of paint, paper, pens, pencils and other craft materials to hand. Children will naturally be drawn to a designated arts and crafts space.
Encourage creativity in all forms – not just visual arts. Cooking and gardening are also creative and can be a great outlet for those who feel they lack skill.
Keep a dressing-up box – children of all ages love to have a poke around a collection of unusual or fun garments! Collect them from relatives and charity shops.
Journaling – this is a wonderful way to encourage creativity in children of all ages. Small children will enjoy simply pasting pictures into a big scrapbook and older children can write notes about their day-to-day life.
Remember, all children have the capacity for creativity. Avoid commenting in a negative way about your own talents or skills and they’ll do the same.
Always find something positive to say about their achievements – even if they’re not picture-perfect! Experiment often and join in the fun yourself.