By Brianna Garcia
Creativity is a key component, as well as a key to success, in most everything that we do: art, music, science, math, and even social and emotional intelligence. Studies have also shown that creative people are better problem solvers and are more flexible, which goes a long way in the boardroom. Children especially should nurture their creativity, both in the classroom – where ingenuity is second nature – and at home. But how can parents create an environment at home that fosters the same kind of creativity that the classroom does? Here a few simple ways to accomplish an inspired environment that will benefit both your child and yourself.
By giving your child the means to be creative, they will more likely reach for those resources when they “have nothing to do.” Reach for it enough times, and it will become a habit. Resources does not only mean markers, pencils, paper, etc., but also space for the child to create. Set aside space in the living room or an empty room in the house. If space inside is an issue, set up an area in the yards. Your child needs a space of her own in order to create.
Model your own creativity
You’ve heard the old saying that children learn by doing, and being creative is no exception. Carve time out of your day to create something of your own. Get messy, take risks, and let your child either see you doing this or hear about it later. Your children will see you or hear about you taking time out of your day to be creative, and they will most likely pick up the same habits as Mom and Dad.
Give kids freedom
It might be difficult, but we should take a step back and allow our kids to make mistakes and try to make their own way. If we give kids a little freedom, then we take off the boundaries that are usually set in school and at home: color within the lines, use this exact color, write a story using these precise rules. Shaking off these limitations gives your child the freedom to create beautiful, unfettered works of art.
Don’t focus on finished product
Too many times, children bring home a project and parents jump to the deadline and what it’s supposed to look like at the end. For a creative child to truly flourish, parents must concentrate on the journey and not the destination. Get started early so you can you’re your time on each step of the way. Enjoy the creative process together, and the finished product might be better than either of you imagined.
Encourage reading and art for pleasure
It’s no secret that the most creative people in the world are also big readers. They turn books into movies inside their heads, and then sometimes they use those images to create unique works of art. Limit TV/internet time and have family time with a book or another artistic endeavor. You can use this time to connect with each other, bouncing ideas of each other and planning your next creative projects, without the distraction of television or computers.
There are merely stepping stones to creating a more art-centric environment in your home, and there are many other wonderfully inventive ways to give your child what they need to jumpstart their creativity. Brainstorm with your child to find other, adaptable ways you can turn your home into an imagination paradise.