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Teach Your Child How to Be Creative

Creativity is the ability to see things in a different light, to view the world in a distinct and personal way. Many people visualize creativity as a talent; in contrast creativity is a thought process whereas talent is a special skill we have personally. Creativity can be taught whereas talent is something we are born with.

Whether we are creative ourselves, or just know that we want our children to be creative individuals, it is an important trait for our children to capture. Learning creativity as a child will help them in their adult life, especially if they are professionals who work in the industry of business, economics, industrial and graphic design, science, engineering and the arts.

Preschool
Create an atmosphere for preschoolers that encourage creative activities and thoughts. Prepare their bedroom or play area in a way that encourages creativity, keep coloring devices and paper handy and easily accessible. Keep a variety of artistic materials; clay, play dough, music, books, blocks, legos, and other creative toys within the reach of the child.

Incorporate role playing and storytelling in everyday activities. For example while you are eating animal crackers, have your child pick an animal cracker, name the animal, eat the cracker then imitate that animal. Or while you are traveling, make up a short story about an item you see on the road or side of the road. For example: You see a tire sitting on the side of the road, you can make something up about that tire. “I imagine that tire came from a car that was going too fast down the road and when the man pulled over to the side to fix his tire he realized that going so fast will make him lose his tires. So he never went too fast on the road again.”
 
Main points to address:

  • Create an atmosphere that encourages creativity
  • Have a variety of artistic and creative materials accessible to your child
  • Incorporate role playing and storytelling in everyday activities

Grades K-3rd
With young school-aged children, creativity will be developing rapidly. This is the time they will begin problem solving on their own; this is a great time to encourage creativity. Encourage them to review alternative ways of problem solving by evaluating the problem, think of a variety of solutions and figure out which is the best way to execute the solution. For example; If Michelle at school does not want to be your child’s friend anymore (and this happens more times then you can count on both hands at feet at this age) then give three or four alternative methods to solve this problem and have your child execute the one that is the best choice.

This is also a good time in your child’s life to begin to relax your parental controls, don’t let go of the reins or allow your child to make all the decisions, but begin to give them more options and allow them to help you with establishing rules and regulations for their age. As adults we sometimes tighten our parental control, which can diminish the self-confidence that is an important attribute of the creative spirit.

Main points to address:

  • Offer them the ability to help provide the rules and regulations of the household
  • Give them an opportunity for free self-expression, without negative or demeaning judgment
  • Encourage them to evaluate their problems, review a variety of options to solve the problem, and figure out which option is the best to execute.

Grades 4th-6th
Encouraging your school-aged children to discover diverse activities in and out of school will help develop critical-thinking skills, which is important to the creative pursuit. School-aged children become bombarded with homework, school sports or other activities. In particular, theatre activities, whether in-school or out of school, should be encouraged. Many local organizations for the arts can help you find a place for your child in their programs, even if your child is shy and does not feel comfortable acting in a play they can always provide other services for the stage play such as lighting, decorating, sound, costume, narrating or a variety of other duties. It is important to offer creative avenues, but it is also important not to push or pressure your child into these activities. Give them time to develop the motivation to pursue them themselves.

It is also important to allow your child the freedom of expression, allow them to be the individuals they are by giving them the ability to wear the clothes and items of their liking. Although I wouldn’t allow them to get tattoos at the age of 12, there have to be set regulations as to what, but do allow them to express themselves in the unique being that they are.

Main points to address:

  • Encourage your child to be a part of extra curricular activities in and out of school, join the choir in school, and sign up for a local play out of school.
  • Allow your child the freedom of expression, allow them to wear the clothes they want without the fear of rejection or judgment from his parents.
  • Don’t push them into anything they don’t want to do, but encourage them to join diverse groups to learn other skills.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

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