As parents, there are many gifts we can give our children but perhaps the greatest gift, the one that will give them the most joy and fulfillment throughout their life, is a curious and creative mind. The truth is; the creative and explorative minds of children can end up becoming the minds that create new inventions and discover groundbreaking ideas for the world! To help you create an environment to enhance your children’s creativity, here are few ideas of games and activities for each stage of their development and growth, from infancy to school years.
The Infant Years (Ages 0 to 2 years)
These years are very important for your child; this is when their personality starts to take shape. Here are a few games and activities that you can do with your infant to stimulate their creativity:
- Set them free: as they learn to crawl and walk, let them have semi-unstructured exploration around your house (within safe boundaries, and where the rooms are baby-proof). This will help them to become more explorative of their surroundings, but it’ll also instill a sense of curiosity that’s crucial for a creative mind.
- Reading and stories: take the time to sit with your infant and read to him/her out-loud. This will help them expand their vocabulary and strengthen their command of language, but it’ll also help them form pictures in their head and develop their imagination. Don’t assume they’re not listening, they are! And as they listen, they’re absorbing and learning at their own pace.
The Toddler Years (Ages 2 to 5 Years)
Around this age period, your child is walking and learning to talk. This is a fun time-period in your children’s lives to get creative with games and activities that they are capable of doing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Walks out in nature: some of the most creative people tend to take walks through nature, and your child shouldn’t be the exception—take them for a walk in the park, or better yet, give them some crayons and a notebook, and let them draw what they see outside. Not only would this help boost their creativity, but it can also help sharpen their observation skills and will give them an eye for details—skills that are important for much later in life. Our Artist Travel Sets and Artist Journals are ideal and easy to take your art to go!
- Musical happiness: a great way to boost your children’s creativity is to challenge them to find random objects in the house and to use them as musical instruments—this could be anything from pots and pans to wooden boxes. Instilling music into your children is one of the best ways to boost their creativity.
- Role playing and fun drama: another great activity is to encourage your child to act out scenes from everyday life. For example, if they just had a visit with the family doctor, you could encourage them to act out what happened. Some parents will even buy second-hand clothes or create costumes for these activities! This will help develop your children’s sense of self and to place themselves in others’ shoes.
The School-Age Years (Ages 6 to 12 years)
At this stage, children are more independent, and unlike toddlers and preschoolers, they don’t need as much supervision. Now is a good time to explore with activities that give your children, even more, freedom to create:
- Photography: stimulate your child’s will and interest to tell stories through photography! According to expert Courtney Slazinik, you can start them with a childproof, rock hard, camera, or you can try with a cheaper device, like a “point and shoot”. Teach them the basics of framing, angle, and position, and give them the freedom to register whatever moves them. You can encourage them to capture scenes that tell stories or anything they find beautiful. Make albums of their work so they can see the product, and keep track of their progress. You can even use your children’s photos for family Christmas or holiday cards!
- Writing stories: after they take photographs, encourage them to write stories about them! You could even explore creating comic strips together inspired by their favorites.
Creativity is one of the most valuable skills a person can have. Whatever activities you choose to do with your children, be sure to give a good balance of ones that stimulate their creative potential. If your child resists certain activities, be sure not push them; they may end up rejecting it. Be patient, keep the creative opportunities coming, they will find their niche and, you never know, it could bring them joy and creative fulfillment for the rest of their life.