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7 Ways to Encourage Your Child's Creative Side

It's Easier Than You Think

The Whatever Mom, creativity, kids, encouragement

In today’s modern world it is easy to lose sight of nurturing our kid’s creativity. Outside of coloring pages and art classes at school, and maybe a piano class we aren’t thinking too much beyond the basics. Video games and a constant barrage of streaming videos eats up most of our down time and it can become the default setting to our evening routine.

I come from a deeply creative family. My mother is an artist and musician and two of my siblings are musicians. I also have several aunts, uncles and cousins who are also musically and artistically inclined. So it is no surprise to me that both of my kids are very creative and share a love of art and music.

However creativity doesn’t always equate musical or artistic talent. Sometimes creativity is a skill that is applied during problem solving, organizing and used while researching new ideas.  Everyone is creative in their own way, but not everyone is equally creative. Even though there are several artists and musicians in my family I have zero talent in those areas. I am creative in other ways. Not only am I a blogger extraordinaire, but if you give me a messy closet I will ninja my way through it to Pinteresty perfection!

READ MORE: See our Enrichment Guide for creative classes for kids

So if your child isn’t showing interest in painting or playing an instrument, have no fear. They may be creative in other ways too.

Here are 7 Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Creative Side:

1. Give creativity its own space. You don’t need to get fancy and dedicate an entire room to your child’s endeavors. Offer easy, open access to art supplies grouped in a basket or art cart, and some table space to make it easier for kids to create when inspiration hits. A small box with dress up clothes, or a small table to build Legos on is also a great way to encourage their imaginations.

2. Avoid managing. Allow your kids to color outside the lines, or to define for themselves how much glitter is too much, and give them room to get messy.  Having free reign over the creative process and play time fosters flexibility and helps develop a natural understanding of how things work.

3. Let them be bored. By not enrolling your kids in several activities, and allowing them time to play without instruction, it will force them to explore a little. They will have to think for themselves what is entertaining. It encourages them to find different ways to play, or to pick up a new hobby.

4. Limit Electronics. I know this can be a hard one. But by postponing introducing kids to electronics it encourages them to interact more directly with the world around them.  Computers were created to do the thinking for us, so video games and learning apps are limited in the ways a kid can interact with them. But if you put a kid outside, or take a hike through the woods together, there are a million new ways to interface with the world around them.

5. Let them choose the activities. One night at the dinner table brainstorm together some fun things to do together. Let them chose a game night or a movie night, or maybe visiting a favorite playground. Whatever their ideas are let them be their own and see #2 above.

6. Share your own passions. Maybe you like to paint or craft, take photographs, or love to listen to a specific type of music. Let them see you enjoying your passions and share with them why you love them so much. Perhaps you can share a project together like scrap booking, macramé or needle point.

7. Follow their lead. When kids find something they are interested in or they find an activity that they just absolutely love take the time to learn more about it. If your child loves to build with Legos, help them explore books about Legos, or join a Lego building club at the local library. Perhaps your child is interested in gears and the inner workings of things like clocks and cameras. Let them pull apart outdated or damaged video games, cameras or cell phones.

Try not to fall into the trap of comparing your kids’ abilities to those of their peers. If your kid isn’t a budding Picasso that doesn’t mean they aren’t creative. It just means they aren’t interested in painting. Perhaps they are great story tellers, play writers, inventors, builders or explorers. Keep supporting their ideas and one day they will be the great problem solvers of the world.

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

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