All children should be given opportunities to develop their creative thinking in order to be as successful as possible later in life. We were lucky to come across these great suggestions by HandMade Kids Art, which discussed great ways to make sure parents do everything they can to instill creative thinking in their children!
Who says teaching your kids to be creative has to be expensive or full of special supplies? You don’t necessarily need all of the fancy materials in order to help your child.
These 5 tips will help you move in the right direction when it comes to teaching your children about creative outlets that they can pursue!
- Ask open-ended questions, which will help to develop your child’s critical thinking skills.
Handmade Kids Art had great questions that you can ask your child, specifically about their art work! Open-ended questions will help your child feel supported and appreciated, more than just giving them a complement. An added bonus? It’s always fun to hear their answers to see what they’re thinking! So what are these magic questions you can ask?
- What can you tell me about your picture?
- What materials did you use?
- Where did you get the idea?
- What is your favorite part of the project?
- What is the name of your picture?
- If you were going to do it again, what would you change, if anything?
- Why did you use the specific colors you used?
- What if you would have used other colors?
- How did you decide on the colors/shapes/lines?
- If you would have had more time, what would you have added?
By encouraging your child to elaborate on specific areas of their picture, it helps them to tell a story and develop critical thinking. What a great way to show interest and support them!
2. Create high engagement with your family’s toys by setting up a toy rotation schedule.
Do your kids tend to get bored with their toys and does clean up take forever? Handmade Kids Art talked about how toy rotation was a saving grace in the home.
One night after the kids were in bed, it was time to reorganize! All of the sudden, the next day, creativity reached a fevered pitch again with the kids because they suddenly had “new” toys again that they had completely forgotten about. What a great way to keep things fresh!
This is also a great time to do a little sweep through the pile of toy upon toy upon toy to get rid of the ones that are outdated, broken, or that you may just want gone! So what is the best way to do this?
- Dump all the toys on the floor! Once you see what you have, you’ll know what you’re working with and what can be purchased or saved.
- Group toys into similar piles, like cars, blocks, dolls, etc.
- Start purging! It’s so freeing to go through all of those piles and remove the ones that just aren’t working out anymore! Don’t forget to think about what your children love or what they have grown out of.
- Now you have your finalized piles of various toys! How many storage boxes does it look like you need? Find boxes for the amount of piles that you have.
- Fill the boxes! Now to be clear, you won’t be filling each box with each separate toy. You’ll be picking one of each from the various piles and filling each box. Make sure you have a good variety of toys for each box for everyone!
- You may also want to make sure there are a few favorite toys for your kids in each box. This will evenly distribute all of those favorites and make sure everything gets played with often.
- Label the boxes! You may want to add a little description about what is in each box so you’ll remember when it’s time to rotate.
Just like that, once a month, once a quarter, or how ever often you see fit, you’ll be able to change up the toys that your kids are playing with so their creative juices stay fresh. We just love this idea from Handmade Kids Art!
3. Utilize Simple Ways to Add Creativity to your Child’s Life
Because creative thinking skills help to develop intrinsic motivation, as well as encourages your child to continue learning their entire life, it’s important to find opportunities for your kids to experiment with new ideas and experiences! Nothing is better than teaching them to ask questions and investigate things around them to help develop critical thinking and problem solving skills!
- Ask open-ended questions that require ore than a yes or no answer. Things like “How else could we do this…?”, “What would happen if…”, “What should we do next?” are great ways to start.
- Offer choices. By allowing them to work on making their own decisions you help your child learn how to be independent. Just make sure you’re OK with the choices you’re offering them!
- Incorporate creativity into everyday experiences. For example, let them draw pictures when you’re out to dinner with the family!
- Allow dramatic play to use their imagination. Kids love to act like their favorite animal or dress-up and pretend they are creating their own story!
- Let your child become an inventor! Use a regular household item and ask your child what else it could be used as. By challenging them, they are creating new and fun ways that they could use the object.
- Make sure you allow for mistakes. They can be used as opportunities to learn, so make sure that you let your child view them as that, instead of something that didn’t work and was unsuccessful.
- Play music and dance! Get your kids into creating a rhythm and making up a dance and have fun!
- Read poetry. By changing up your reading habits and mixing in poetry once in awhile, it introduces them to different styles of literature and new thoughts that come with it.
- Draw! It’s a great way for your child to communicate their feelings, even before they are able to fully read and write! Better yet? Ask them to tell the story that goes along with their drawing!
4. Paint With Your Young Artist!
Handmade Kids Art knows that it can be a little cringe-worthy when you think about letting your child paint. The mess! The clean-up! Ahhhh! By using a few great tips, though, there is no need to be afraid anymore!
- Make sure the kids have adult supervision! If you give your little artist your full attention while they are painting, they will be more likely to keep things a little more clean and will use the tools right that they have at their disposal!
- Pour the paint yourself! Set up a specific area for the painting and have everything ready before they even sit down. This way, they have less of a chance to make a mess by “helping” when you are setting everything up!
- Limit the number of color choices. While your child may not love this, it helps to keep them from feeling overwhelmed. It will also give them more success and will actually be able to decipher what they are trying to paint instead of that lovely brownish color that happens when they just end up mixing everything together!
- 1 brush per color! This helps to keep the colors separated out for their masterpiece and helps them learn more about color matching since they have to put the brush back!
- Keep a wet paper towel or rag handy. There will more than likely be some kind of mess, so you might as well be prepared!
- Tape down the paper so it doesn’t slip and slide as your little artist is creating their masterpiece! It’s so much easier!
- Use paper plates as a paint/mixing palette. It gives your kids plenty of space to mix colors and also provides super easy clean-up!
- You may want to consider using some type of drop cloth underneath the table you’ll be painting on. An old shower curtain, old tablecloth or old sheet (even newspaper) is a great way to catch those messes!
5. Keep Paper Clutter Under Control and Document/Store Your Child’s Artwork Easily
Do you feel like you are overwhelmed with paper clutter, but don’t want to throw away one little thing your child has created? What is a parent to do? Handmade Kids Art has some great recommendations about how to control the clutter!
One of the big things you can do to get rid of that clutter is to start using your phone camera to document all of your little one’s school papers and artwork! Who knew?! Your camera phone will automatically date it and than you can sync it to your computer.
What next? You can eventually make a photo book of the saved artwork through many of the different online tools out there today and voila! You have everything you need, without the mess of papers!
That being said, what parent doesn’t like to keep those exceptional pieces of work?! Those you can store in a file box which you can categorize by school year. Bam! Your paper clutter is gone!
We just love these great tips on how to raise creative kids. What a great gift to give your parent and all of them will also help to keep your home and space more organized and clean, as well! Enjoy!
Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: Top 5 Parenting Tips of 2014 for Raising Creative Kids