Kids nowadays tend to spend lots of time watching TV and playing on their computers and other devices.
While some of these activities help to stimulate intellectual and creative tendencies, most of it is rather passive.
To counter this trend, many parents want to introduce activities that increase creativity.
There are many possibilities to choose from, both indoors and outdoors.
The following are some examples of ways to help your kids develop their creative potential.
Teach Kids to Appreciate Art
Most kids enjoy artistic activities such as drawing, painting, making collages and building things with blocks.
The key is to find activities that your children find fascinating and encourage them.
If you try to pressure them into doing something, they’ll feel like it’s work.
However, if you observe them, you’ll probably find that they have natural artistic inclinations.
You can help them along by getting them some materials to play with.
Younger kids love playdough. Lego sets provide many opportunities for creating structures of all kinds.
However, you shouldn’t overlook old fashioned pencil and paper.
Supply them with poster board or a drawing pad, so they have room to work. A good set of drawing pencils helps as well. Pencils are graded with numbers between 2 and 9 and with the letters “H” for hard and “B” for soft.
Among the best for kids learning to draw are 2HB pencils, which are commonly used in school.
It’s also nice to teach kids to appreciate art created by others.
You have to be careful about this, however.
Spending hours at a museum can be tedious for young kids and may get them to think of art as boring.
Start them off with some picture books and see what they respond to.
If they develop a fascination with dinosaurs, for example, they’ll be more likely to enjoy the dinosaur exhibit at your local museum.
Taking kids to age appropriate plays, puppet shows and concerts also helps them develop an appreciation for different art forms.
Teach Them How to Cook and Bake
All kids love to eat and, with the right encouragement, enjoy cooking as well.
A good place to start is with baking treats such as cookies or fudge brownies.
Begin with simple recipes, such as mixes from the store.
You can then move on to making items from scratch.
Breakfast items such as eggs and pancakes are useful, fun and simple.
Kids will always be motivated to learn how to make dishes they love.
Once they learn some basic recipes, encourage them to make their own variations.
Learning how to use different ingredients and employing different cooking techniques is a fun way to increase creativity.
To make it even more fun, let your kids invite over some of their friends and make it a group effort.
In the holiday spirit, start with a simple Christmas cake.
Encourage Their Musical Abilities
Kids are naturally musical and enjoy singing, dancing and playing instruments.
Younger kids who aren’t ready to master the violin or piano can start out with simple instruments such as a drum, tambourine, or shaker.
Around the age of three or four, many children are ready to learn to play instruments such as the kazoo or recorder.
As kids get a little older, they’re ready for more formal instruction.
Make sure you choose a good teacher and an instrument that the child has a passion for.
One challenge for many parents is to get kids to practice.
Consult with his or her teacher and set goals for practice sessions.
For example, mastering a certain song or chord is a short term goal that a child can be proud of.
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
One of the drawbacks of modern life is that it encourages people, including children, to spend most of their time indoors.
There’s quite a bit of evidence that playing outside benefits kids physically, intellectually and socially. Kids can find many creative activities right in their own backyard.
If you have a garden, introducing your little ones to the basics of planting and caring for plants, flowers or vegetables is fun as well as educational.
Take kids to different natural environments.
This will vary depending on where you live, but whether you go to a local park, beach or hiking area, kids will be able to learn more about their local environment.
You can encourage this process by learning more about plants and wildlife in your area.
You can make up games such as searching for certain plants, trees or birds.
Before the age of computers and TV, kids were compelled to be more creative.
They had to make up their own games. While kids still dress up and role play, today they’re often content to simply watch the dramas unfold on their screens.
They had to make up their own games.
While kids still dress up and role play, today they’re often content to simply watch the dramas unfold on their screens.
You can encourage kids to reclaim the pleasures of acting out their own fantasies.
These can be inspired by their favourite TV or movie characters.
All kids love to dress up for Halloween.
Why not give them similar opportunities the rest of the year?
Help them make their own costumes and suggest that they act out simple scripts.
Older kids can film these on their smartphones or digital cameras.
This is a case where electronic devices can support creativity.
These are some ideas to increase creativity.
It’s always best to take inspiration from your kids’ natural inclinations.
Some children are naturally musical, for example, while others prefer drawing or playing outside.
By introducing kids to a variety of creative activities, you help them develop their natural interests and talents.
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