Creativity is not some mysterious gene or stuff. Everyone can learn to generate new ideas and enjoy thinking about new solutions. The more you encourage your child to use his mind to think more creatively, the more likely it is that he will grow up enjoying finding solutions. Below are some suggestions to help you raise a creative child.
Explore Questions Together
Children are little questions machine and they love to ask questions. Answering all their questions may not be possible. But you can show an interest in their questions. Many questions may be difficult to answer, “Why is a blueberry blue?” But it is not a scientific answer as such that is important. Children may be born with a curious mind, but you need to nurture their inquisitive minds. Exploring questions even though you may know the answer to why the stars come out at night, teaches your child to think for himself. Make it a habit to listen to your child’s answers to questions even if they may be wrong, encourage the exploration of questions rather than the “correct” answer. Put tricky questions in a box and look of answers together.
Making things together is a great way to encourage a search for creative ideas. Baking and cooking are fun engaging activities. Planning what to bake or cook involves imagination and dreaming. You can search for ideas for things to bake together. Mixing ingredients for a cake, and decorating it is and engaging creative process. Exploring the science behind bread making is engaging scientific journey that is a wonderful way to raise curiosity. You can also test changing ingredients. Use lemon zest instead of orange zest. If he suggests cutting the wrap bread into squares or snowflakes, let him test the idea.
Building projects are also a great way to encourage creative thinking. Building a medieval castle out of cardboard boxes, is a more engaging activity than buying a ready-made set. Praise him for his ideas and teach him be proud of the result. Being creative means to try and test ideas. Some are successful and looks great. Other ideas and solutions needs to be improved upon. Great a positive atmosphere where you explore and test ideas together.
Fix Things Together
Problem solving starts at home. What do you do when something breaks? Do you try to mend it yourself? Do you throw it away? Or do you ask for help? Trying to fix things is a great way to engage in creative thinking. Often the first solution does not work so you have to test and try new solutions. This encourages and teaches your child to continue to try and to test ideas. Being creative means to be persistent and you never ever give up. Out of 1 000 ideas, one idea might be brilliant. And yes, that is the statistics for adults.
Photo: “Dandelion Clock” by Tina Phillips