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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Boosting Creativity in Children - Practical Activities and Working Tips

By Andrew Loh

Fostering creativity among children is a delicate process. Creating a creative atmosphere in the home is perhaps the most important requirement. Every child possesses its own creative potential. However, if not nurtured properly, the traces of creativity may be stifled and snuffed out. In essence, creativity represents a child's uniqueness and specialty. It is almost like a child saying - I am capable, I can do it, or I can be that. In nutshell, creativity could be understood as follows:

  • An ability to see events and things with a new perspective;

  • An ability to foresee problems and obstacles that no other person may know that they exist;

  • An ability to device and create most plausible answers to the problem foreseen and visualized.

To boost the art of creativity in your children, you may want to observe certain rules and regulations like:

Never be an overt control freak: A tendency to control too much may hinder the development of creativity among children. Constant supervision and excessive control will hinder spontaneity and self-image in children. Make sure that you are not acting as a control freak.

Teach dedication, patience and perseverance: You may need to teach dedication and perseverance to your children. In the same way, you may also want to learn these skills. When children accomplish certain tasks, appreciate their efforts.

Tolerate mistakes and help children correct them: It is impossible to find correct answers to all the problems that children have in their front. They are humans after all! Let your children know that it is not too important to get the correct answer to a given problem. Tell them why using a special or unique approach to find solutions to the problem assumes importance.

Create a “creative” atmosphere in the house: Providing a friendly atmosphere is very critical to nurturing creativity. Provide them creative materials to boost creativity. Toys and play materials, objects, patterns, art inventories and books are some of the basic materials that play a vital role.

Solving problems in a creative way: Problem solving in a creative manner is very crucial for children. Children should be able to solve their problems in their own special ways. Teach them how to find alternatives and better answers that most likely help them to solve problems.

Never ever, apply too much pressure: Give ample time to allow your children to solve their problems and find solutions. The pressure to finish the pending work should come in the way of the quest to boost creativity.

Creative games as a tool to boost creativity

Creative games are the best techniques to boost creativity among children. Provide many opportunities for your children to indulge in creative play. You can start by providing your children those activities that resonate with their interests and ideas. Prove your children to find out what they want and in which activities they show an interest. Creative play may include activities that need necessary materials or it may also include activities that do not need any materials. However, children often learn better, when they are with creative play materials.

Here are some simple creative games that could help your children to be creative and innovative:

Creative drama playing: Creative drama play is a great answer to many of children's problems. For example, it can act as speech therapy, help children in learning language, assist them in motor movements, learn cognition, and to express their mind through a mixture of body movements and spoken words. Almost all dramas that children act relate to something that exists around them like plants, nature, animals and objects.

Create a story: Stories and anecdotes are perhaps the finest forms of learning something new. Create group of children (invite your children's friends for a weekend party) and ask them to tell stories and poems. Let someone start a story while the others continue it. This will result in boosting imagination and visualization.

Creative role-play could help children discover their abilities

All children have the ability to develop, nurture and expand their dynamic personalities in their own unique ways. They can mimic anything in the world! They can become animals, plants or even a ghost! Provide them role-playing games that could enhance creativity. For example, children could play doctor/patient/nurse games or indulge in shopping assistant/buyer role-playing games. These simple games would result in many benefits like understanding how others feel and think, in what manner the world around them works and the way in which they can react to a specific situation.

Learning to ask creative questions and finding out suitable answers

Questions and answers are the best methods to boost creativity among children. When you ask question, make sure that it is an open-ended one. This will pose more challenges to them and lead them to find out better answers to even tough questions.

Some examples:

  • “What happens when...?”

  • “Why do you think so?”

  • “How many kinds of ... can you think of?”

  • “How else might you ...?”

  • “Can you think of a way to improve ...?”

Guessing games will help in creative answering

Guessing games are possibly the best tools to foster creativity in children. It helps enhancing critical thinking too. For example, you can ask children to close their eyes and then predict the source of sound created by using different objects like spoons, utensils, musical instruments and other objects. Another idea is to ask them the source of sound like sound of footsteps, closing doors or drooped coins.

Probing questions help children become creative and smart

Probing questions with useful answers are helpful in promoting creativity. A question may need several answers to arrive at a practical answer. Teach children how to answer questions with different answers. Here are some examples:

  • Does sponge float in water? If yes, why and if no, what are the reasons?

  • Why hot water is hot? What makes it hot?

  • Why are flowers so colorful?

You may need to provide different options and choices to your children while learning how to become creative. Creativity does not come automatically and it has to be nurtured through your children's young life. Creativity, when mastered, would result in a smart and intelligent child.

Featured Resource

Creative Activities for Young Children
By Mary Mayesky

Creative Activities for Young Children 9th edition is a terrific book filled with fun, creative, and easy-to implement activities for young children. Readers will enjoy exercising their own creativity, as well as helping young children do the same. This text is an excellent tool for preparing to work creatively with children across the curriculum, but it is also very useful in their future teaching careers.

With its hundreds of activities, up to date research, recipes, finger plays, art recipes, poems, book and software lists, information on how to select children's books, and hundreds of web sites, this book is an invaluable resource. This book is very comprehensive and covers the topics I am looking for in a text. It is apparent that the author has a wealth of information and experience to share in a mentoring style.


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