Have you ever struggled with teaching your child how to be creative?
Well, I've got some great news for you...
You don't have to!
Like many adults, I used to think that we were either born creative or not. And if not, then creativity was something that had to be learned.
But the truth is that creativity is truly in all of us.
It just needs to be inspired and encouraged!
Creativity is simply the act of using one's ideas and imagination to come up with something new.
So it is not something that has to be taught, but rather, facilitated in children.
Here are 8 ways you can support your child's creativity:
1. Inspire them by DOING
Show them you’re willing to try new things, and creatively!
Park the neophobia and DO something new.
Whether it is creating your own scrapbook of doodles, mastering your own colouring book creations (yes, they do exist for adults), or being creative around the house in your every day tasks.
Seeing you tap into your own creative side, will inspire them to tap into theirs!
Clearly I chose the harder route, by publishing a book series about creativity! Hmmmmm.
2. Embrace their creative ideas
Offer your child praise and encouragement when they use their imagination in play or to create something new.
Let them take you on a fun imaginary adventure or pretend to be a character from their favourite book.
Keeping an open mind to their fun and inventive ideas, will help their creativity to soar!
3. Make time for creativity
These days our lives have become so busy, that if it isn’t on the calendar, we don’t make time for it!
Setting aside time in your schedule to slow down and have creative family time, allows you to give your child your full attention and truly be present in the moment.
This helps you to really engage with them, forgetting everything on that never-ending to-do list by focusing only on bonding creatively with your little one.
4. Celebrate the ordinary, don’t focus on the rare
This one is all about gratitude, by helping your child to see and appreciate the gift of the present and the simple, ordinary things in life.
It also helps them to see old things in new ways and really engages their creative thinking.
Try making something new out of something you no longer use or plan to put out for recycling.
Re-purposing unwanted items, not only encourages creativity but is also great for the environment too!
5. Encourage them to share their creative work
There is nothing more motivating for your child than receiving positive feedback.
Encouraging them to share their work, not only encourages a mindset of sharing and giving, but also motivates them to want to keep creating!
Encourage them to share their wonderful creations with a relative, friend or teacher or as a gift for someone they care about.
Nothing reinforces the act of giving more than a happy recipient.
6. Debrief together
Talk about their creation with them.
Have a little conversation about why they chose certain colours, or why they chose to create that particular thing.
Encourage them to talk about their work with you.
How are they feeling? Are they trying to express this?
Take this opportunity to create a safe space to help them work through these emotions.
7. Focus on engagement, not outcome
Encourage them to enjoy the process of creating, rather than being driven only by the product of their creative efforts.
If they learn now to engage with the process, they will discover the joy of creating in itself.
This will not only provide an outlet for them to express themselves more confidently, but will give them a useful tool they can tap into when they need to in future.
8. Read them books that inspire creativity
Last but not least, when you’re choosing books for your child’s reading list, why not include a few books that encourage creativity as a concept?
Doodle Dozen books are a great example of this and through the characters of the book, the reader is inspired to be creative with their own colouring pencils.
Creativity is like a Garden
I hope this list has been helpful.
Children love to use their imagination... it comes naturally to them.
Our job as the adults is simply to create an environment that encourages them to do so.
Creativity is like a garden, it will flourish when watered.
Why not share this short video made just for kids with all the little ones in your circle?
It's from our brand new 'Inspirational Doodles presented by Ziggy’ playlist and this particular one is all about creativity!
How do you like to express your creativity?
We’d love to hear in the comments.
Until next time, keep dreaming, keep believing and keep doodling!
Disclaimer: This post offers suggestions based on the experience of the author. If you require professional input for your child's mental health, please seek advice from a child mental health professional.