How To Inspire Creativity In Children
We all want our children to express their feelings, their thoughts, and the way they see the world. Everybody likes to show off the picture they made in school, or the sculpture (I’m using the term loosely.) That’s why teachers make sure to send us bag-fulls of the stuff at the end of the year. Once school is done, however, it becomes much harder to get the kids anywhere near a paintbrush or playdough. Other than to stuff it into every nook and cranny they can (or is that just my kids?), that is. And maybe your kid is not artistic, that might be it, and why should he/she be? Our kids may be good at sports, or in school, or socially advanced. But creativity is important, even in those areas, and contrary to what people might think, talent is just one small part of it. The big secret to creative success if practice. Here are some ways to inspire creativity in children.
Have the Materials
This requires a number of sacrifices, in which I will dive in in a second, but it is, probably, an obvious one. They need stuff. Paint, pencils, colourful paper, scissors, glue… All of the stuff that makes our mum-brains send danger alarms at the potential for mess.
And that’s part of the sacrifice right there, the ability to accept that it will be messy, and there will be damage control to be made after.
There is also the financial sacrifice, craft materials are no necessarily cheap, but, even when they are, they need replaced often due to, well, let’s call it wear and tear.
Finally, the sacrifice of space. You’re going to need to dedicate a drawer, a cupboard, or an entire room to, not only store the materials, but the resulting artwork and crafts too. Displaying it is even better…
Resist the Urge to Guide Them
It would be too easy to tell them what to do. Creativity implies thinking out of the box, but it’s difficult to do that if you are already telling them what shape the box is, what colour, and what it’s made of.
Let them use the materials they want, to make the tree they want, even if they are trying to make it out of foil and you can’t see how they are going to attach all those tiny ‘leaves’ they’ve so carefully torn from the roll, now less a roll, and more a mass of crumpled, metallic mess.
If they want to pour a tin of paint over the afore mentioned metallic mess, you should let them too, though here I might suggest you insist on, at least, ruining a bedsheet for the advancement of their artistic endeavour. Because we are nothing, if not motivating mothers, trying to inspire creativity in children, right?
Resist the Urge to Force Creativity Upon Them
They might have told you fifteen times they are bored, or this might be the third time they’re asking you if they can have a bag of crisps/piece of chocolate/biscuit (never an apple, is it?), and shoving a bunch of paper and a box of pens at them just so they give you ten minutes of piece is attractive. Let’s face it, after breakfast and asking you if they can go out to play, even though it’s only half eight in the morning, and God has decided this is the best time for a second Flood, you’ve just sat down for your very first coffee and here they are, with their little faces, and their big eyes, asking you yet again for something.
How do we miss school…
The thing with creativity is that it comes when it comes, and there is no point on forcing them into it.
First of all, because it is their nature to say no to the things you suggest. It doesn’t matter if only yesterday they were begging you for this very thing, today it’s the most awful idea in the universe.
Inversely, if they come to you wanting to paint or do whatever it is they want to do now, let them go ahead. I know you might just have tidied up the kitchen, or even the crafts cupboard, but if you want to inspire your children’s creativity, you’re going to have to let them practice it.
Creativity to Inspire Creativity in Children
There is this saying, money makes money. Equally, creativity makes creativity.
Expose your children to arts, and crafts, and everything artistic, or creative at least. Have it in your house. Taken them to craft markets, take them to art shops with you, or to the museum.
When things get better, that is. Right now, maybe you’ll need to settle for YouTube videos, but it’s better than nothing.
There is more to Creativity than Arts and Crafts
There is, for one, writing! My daughter enjoys her creative writing tasks. Explore this subject with poetry and word association, and simple storytelling.
My son wouldn’t paint you a picture if you gave him a box of candy for it. Well, no, he would, but I wouldn’t expect much of it, he is not attracted to any of it.
What he loves is building robots with legos. Building blocks, of every shape and form, are great for girls and boys with a 3D creative eye. There are magnetic shapes, for building too, and little magnetic balls. There is a wide variety of toys and play sets designed to inspire children’s creativity in many subjects and areas of learning as well, so it might be worth looking into those as well.
Really, all that matters is that your children have freedom, when it comes to their creative minds. Whether it is to write a story, paint a picture, or make a tower, if they have the space, the materials and the ability, it will all inspire creativity in children.
Finally, if you want some free colouring materials, you can join the Young Readers Club and get free colouring printables from The Branch Witch to colour.