This is a sponsored post on behalf of Roots + Wings. All opinions are my own.
One of my favorite things about being at home with my boys over the pandemic has been seeing how creative they are and finding activities to foster creativity. I love to encourage my child to be more creative. We’ve used leaves, paint, glue, and googly eyes to create some pretty funny and awesome crafts.
I have tried to be the best Pinterest mom I can be, but let’s face it – crafting is something I like to do but am not great at. I don’t let that stop me though and my son absolutely loves creating things to hang on our art wall. Finding ways to inspire creativity for kids is another thing to add to our list that makes us great parents, so I’ve made it easy by sharing some of the fun ways we have been creative over the last few months.
Creativity for kids: why it is a must
Typically we don’t have to teach kids to be creative, it comes naturally to them. But, it always helps to encourage and foster creativity in your children to get them to go even further and beyond what their minds can conceive. Unfortunately, there are moments when fear, limiting thinking, or general busyness of life can stifle a child’s chance to be creative.
Activities to foster creativity can help your child be more innovative, work through problem solving, and generally be a more well rounded person. A creative child is one that can see things differently or imagine different outcomes, one that can make something out of raw materials, or just keep up a lively conversation. There are so many ways your child can be creative and you can encourage your child to be creative, so to get a jump start, I’ve listed some options below to expand their and your mind.
How to foster creativity in your child
1.Have a stash of supplies on hand that your child can reach
Making it easy for a child to get access to a variety of tools, supplies, and resources for creative thinking and play is one major hurdle. I find it hard to get creative when I have to spend so much time finding my supplies myself. When I can easily tell my son to go to the drawer and grab his crayons while I cook dinner I’m giving him the power to be creative at any time. Typically, I shop at dollar stores, craft stores, and the dollar spot at Target to grab any little things I see. I don’t always have a plan for the supplies I buy; I just like to have variety. In our kitchen I’ve designated a specific drawer where we keep all of our art supplies and all of our music instruments are in the playroom. Both of my sons now know they can reach any of these things at any given time.
2. Encourage the creativity by not being too critical
If your child feels bad about their art not being perfect or not having the right creative answer, make sure they know the effort was worth the time.
3. Give them free time to work
Our schedule allows for some free time during the day and specific creative time. These are both opportunities to let my son express his creativity. Sometimes I let my son pick our activity for the time period and we do exactly as he requests. Other times, I will just put out a few things on the table and tell him to have at it. By encouraging him to choose an activity and play as he sees fit he is exercising his creative mind.
4. Let them see you be creative
Our children do as they see us do. We can see them copying what we say and portraying our behavior – and the same goes with positive behaviors. By reading, playing with new recipes, singing, and more my son can see how creativity can be fun. Both of my sons will start to embrace using creativity to solve problems, spend their free time doing creative things, or even find a new passion after seeing us be creative.
5. Play with your child and ask them questions to spark creativity
Playing with our children and being creative kills two birds with one stone. We are spending quality time and exercising his creative muscle in the same time period. I’ve been using the subscription box that was sent to us by Roots + Wings to jump start our play time together. The Little Wings box has given us so many new ideas plus the actual tools to make sure my son has the chance to think outside of the box and get him to foster creativity. The boxes come as a subscription and include 3 months of activities for preschool curriculum. We are find so many conversations to have and can pair an art project with it!
6. Take note when you see your child being creative
By acknowledging your child’s creativity you can support them with attention and encouragement. You can also notice what your child gravitates to in case you want to do more of the activity they love or do the opposite and stretch other creative muscles.
7. Let your child get dirty and make messes
Although I am kicking myself when we are cleaning up the huge mess, watching my son make a mess and get dirty brings him and me so much joy! He’s a messy kid by nature – so making mud pies, going on bug hunts, playing with playdough, and using his hands is his favorite pastime. I just let him do it on occasion when we have time for extensive clean up.
8. Ask your child to solve a family problem
By putting family problems that are age appropriate in front of your child you can see how their mind works. You can ask them questions like, how should we organize the pantry to keep all of your snacks together? Or ask them, what should we do to celebrate New Years Eve this year? They can really throw some great ideas out there and may even help the family with a new ritual or routine.
9. Allow your child to have autonomy when solving problems, don’t be controlling
When a child comes across a challenge, instead of suggesting a solution, perhaps turn it around to have them come up with a plan. Whether it’s a problem with a friend, a response to a teacher request, or an issue with how they are going to earn money for a new toy – letting them control the solution and solve real problems of their own allows you to make your child think.
10. Focus on the process, not just the end result
The end result of a pretty Pinterest perfect craft or art piece is nice, but not the goal. The process of figuring out what you want to create, finding and pulling out all the supplies, then deciding how you want to work through the details is the best teacher of thinking outside of the box and sparking creative development. The process is a great indicator of how your child thinks creatively and what work they need to do.
11. Use apps, games, and technology to your advantage
Don’t forget that technology, apps, games, online classes, and more are available to teach your child anything they may want to learn.
12. Share your creative outlet with your child
Lately, my son and I have been making breakfast and lunch together because cooking is my creative outlet. He gets to see the whole process that I take to prepare our food and we have fun with each other.
13. Take advantage of ready made creative boxes
Boxes like the Little Wings box gives you a no brainer activity for creative time with your child. With so much to think about, you can take this thing off of your list and just follow the easy instructions and supplies that are included.
14. Give your child a starting off point
You can create a jar of questions or start with a journal prompt to get their creativity flowing.
15. Play out and act the profession that your child wants to be when they grow up
When I daydream about my future I’m definitely using some creativity to dream as big as I can. Helping your child to map out how their future might look, what dreams they may have, or painting a picture of what being an adult in their dream profession looks like can be a source of creativity, but also help them to picture their future.