11 At-Home Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Your Child
Creativity is a valuable skill – here are ways to foster it
- Designate a creative space at home
- Provide ideas that spark creativity
- Encourage hands-on projects
- Supply children with a variety of materials and creative tools
- Choose activities that use all of the senses
- Allow free time
- Find a happy medium between being over-involved and not involved at all
- Encourage your child to develop passions
- Ask the right questions
Fostering creativity in children requires an environment that encourages the brain to create. Yes, children tend to be naturally creative but these skills don’t develop in a vacuum. Kids need tools that equip them to create, whether it’s through play, objects, or even academic materials.
Creativity is a skill we all benefit from and one that flourishes with encouragement. We’ve put together 11 tips that parents can use to foster creativity in their child at home.
1. Designate a creative space
Just as you might create a separate station to complete homework, carve out a space that is designated for “creativity.” It can be in a playroom, the kitchen, or on a patio. Stock this creative station with art supplies, LEGOs, crayons, colored pencils, old clothes for dressing up, or whatever helps spark your child’s imagination.
2. Provide examples
A blank page can cause anyone to panic, which shuts down creativity. You can help avoid this by showing your child sample projects, pictures, or videos to spark ideas. Encourage your child to not just copy the examples but to come up with their own version.
Ask your child to create their spin on the image. Bring up their passions and interests to get the creative juices flowing.
3. Encourage hands-on projects
Imagination might start in the brain but the hands can feed it. Encourage your child to play with different materials, from paper, beads, and blocks to LEGOs, paints, and modeling clay. This will encourage new ideas that come from simply “playing” to crafting larger projects.
4. Go beyond paper and crayons
There are so many tools, toys, and materials that can spark creativity. Supply your child with a variety of materials for drawing, building, and crafting. You can use everything from old-fashioned items like sidewalk chalk to the latest computers and other technology.
Suggestions for creativity-sparking tools:
- Robotics kits
- 3D printer
- Toy car and ship kits
- Beads and sequins
- Cloth materials
- Sewing machine (there are child versions)
- Kinetic Sand
- Tracing paper
- Cut-out letters
- Markers/crayons/colored pencils
- Colored chalk
- Paint kits
- Costume jewelry
- Jewelry boxes for decorating
5. Activate all the senses
Creativity is fostered through all of the senses. Expose your child to the world around them in ways that use all of the senses, including the eyes, ears, and hands. You don’t have to get elaborate, either. You can engage the senses through outings to your local library, zoo, park, museums, botanical garden, nature preserve, or science center.
6. Free time is creative time
So many children have every day scheduled down to the minute. This leaves little precious time for play and imagination. Unstructured time is just as important as soccer practice or dance lessons. This is when your child will have more freedom to create and explore their imagination.
7. Step back
It’s tempting to help your child with craft projects or other creative tasks, however, it’s best to avoid managing them. Allow your child to develop creative expressions on their own. Getting too involved can lessen enthusiasm and actually inhibit a child from being truly creative.
8. Do get involved
There’s a happy medium between being over-involved and not getting involved at all. You can certainly work on projects together as a way to have fun and strengthen the relationship with your child. You can talk about the project your child is working on, the vision behind it, what materials are needed, and next steps. You will most likely end up being surprised by your child’s artistic and creative abilities.
9. Ask questions
Questions are a great way to get a child to think about and reflect on what they are doing. Ask about the project they are working on with questions like…
- How did you come up with that idea?
- What inspired this project?
- What do you want this object to do?
- What will you do next?
- What surprised you about this project?
- What’s been the hardest part of this project?
- What would you do differently next time?
- Did the project turn out as you wanted?
Make sure to go beyond questions with “yes” or “no” answers. You want to encourage your child to think and respond in a more complex manner.
10. Help your child find their passions
What does your child love to do? What are their interests? Where do they excel? Encourage them to pursue those interests. Does your child love dinosaurs? Find books about dinosaurs or kits that build them. Maybe your child loves jewelry? There are kits with beads and thread so your child can make jewelry.
11. Discuss your own creative process
Be open about sharing your thoughts about creativity and how you think. Let your child know that coming up with ideas - and making them come to life - can be difficult, but offer strategies that work for you. Hearing about your reflections will encourage your child to do the same and give them tools to overcome the challenges they face.
Choosing a school that fosters creativity
Your choice of a school can foster creativity in your children. American Heritage Schools offer a well-rounded education with an emphasis on developing students of character, confidence, and creativity. Our academics and curriculum help students develop their strengths, pursue their passions, and reach higher education goals to build a bright future.
We offer a comprehensive Fine Arts program that we pride ourselves on. Whereas other schools have had to cut back, American Heritage Schools have been recognized on district, state, regional, and national levels for their continued excellence and support in the field.
We also offer Athletics and Pre-Professional Programs for high school students in subjects such as Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Pre-Engineering, Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Business & Entrepreneurship.
If you are looking for a school, contact us to schedule a tour.
American Heritage Schools is a leader in private education, academic excellence, and innovation. With two 40 acre campuses, one in Broward County and the other in Palm Beach County, Florida, we serve 4,600 students grades Pre-K 3 through 12. American Heritage Schools was recently named the #1 Private School for academic success with the highest number of National Merit Scholars of all private schools in the nation. For over 55 years, our mission of knowledge, integrity, and compassion through developing the full potential of each child to be an active, intelligent, creative, and contributing member of society. Contact an admissions director for more information or sign up for a campus tour.