Help Me Grow | United Way of Utah County

5 Ways to Foster a Child’s Creativity

Fostering creativity helps children grow mentally by providing new opportunities for self-expression, problem solving, and trying out new ideas. Parents can have a vital role in creating an open environment where children can be free to explore and self-express. There are some simple yet rewarding ways you can promote creativity in your child. Here are 5 ways to spur creativity in your child.

1. Get outside. Nature can be the best teacher sometimes. Go for a walk and have your child collect items such as rocks, sticks, or flowers. Take the items home with you and create a nature book. Have your child have the freedom to create a story or art piece with their newfound treasures.

2. Ask questions. Questions are a great way to help your child begin thinking about the world. Open-ended questions can be one of the best ways to promote creative thinking and problem-solving skills. For example, ask them questions about the world around them or ask problem solving questions for simple situations around the house, like “What would the best system be to organize these toys?”

3. Have free time. It is great to have your child be involved in extracurricular activities but don’t forget to have unstructured playtime. Unstructured playtime is vital to develop creative play. Creative play is expressed when children have the freedom to use familiar materials in a new or unusual way. The benefits of creative play include increased social and cognitive development.

4. Mix it up. Instead of playing the same game over and over again, have your child make their own rules to the game and explain them to you. Having them think of their own rules helps provide an opportunity for creative thinking. Also, having them explain it to you can improve their verbal and communication skills.

5. Cook away. The kitchen is a great place to foster creativity. Trying new recipes or creating your own is a fun and interactive way to engage your child’s thinking. Also, cooking with your child can also help improve math and problem solving skills. Being in the kitchen with your child can help strengthen your bond and make lasting memories.

There are lasting benefits that come from developing creative thinking. Bobbi Wegner, a clinical psychologist from Boston, stated, “A child who is used to thinking creatively can more easily problem-solve than a child who follows a rigid protocol when searching for a solution to a problem, creative thinking serves them far beyond their childhood years.”

Start today to help your child’s creativity bloom! It will not only serve them well now but in the future as well. Creativity improves mental development through different channels and outlets. Next time your child claims they are bored, try one of these five activities to have their creative wheels start turning.

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