Creativity is a trait that many parents want their kids to have. In fact, statistics show that Singaporean parents now value creativity more than acing exams. It isn’t surprising, then, that moms are sending babies as young as nine months old to music classes and dads are joining toddlers’ art workshops. Aside from such lessons though, there are simpler, cheaper things you can do to inspire creativity among kids. Here are some of them:
1. Encourage Pretend To Play
It may seem like not a big deal when kids pretend to be a teacher or a superhero, but this is crucial to their cognitive development. Pretend play encourages the use of imagination. This happens in many ways: making up narratives, creating dialogues, and solving imagined problems.
So, encourage pretend to play. Let your child wear costumes and use moving boxes and blankets to build a ‘house’. Buy them a kitchen set or medical kit toys.
2. Be Open Minded
Sometimes parents, in their desire to really foster creativity among kids, tend to dictate what the child should do. While well-intentioned, this could backfire and be counter-productive to what you want to accomplish. Creativity involves independent thinking and problem-solving. You won’t be able to nurture these skills in your kids if you keep dictating what you want. Be open to what your child wants and allow them their space and freedom.
You could apply this in simple ways. For instance, when visiting a public area, say Sentosa Merlion Park, let them interact with other children. Allow them to freely explore the environs under your watchful but non-restrictive guidance. Entertain their questions – no matter how ridiculous they may sound – as you visit museums. The bottom line is let them do and experience things.
3. Watch Movies
Kids nowadays seemed to be glued to TV screens or iPads. Well, take advantage of that to increase creativity: watch good movies; those that stimulate a child’s imagination. One study shows that kids who watched Harry Potter films are far more creative than those who watched films that don’t have magical content. And that’s the key: let children watch films that contain fantasy.
The researchers said that watching such movies triggers magical thinking; that is, believing in animals talking like humans or people flying on broomsticks. And this in effect enables a child to create imaginary worlds. So, go ahead, take a break from work and join your kids in a fantasy movie marathon.
Creativity is a valuable talent you can nurture among your kids. Try the mentioned ideas and make your child a happy, creative individual.