The technological revolution is linked to a decline in creativity in kids, according to the Washington Post. The article says, “Researchers who have tracked children’s creativity for 50 years are seeing a significant decrease in creativity among children for the first time, especially younger children from kindergarten through sixth grade.”
What happened to the days when kids entertained themselves with creative activities? I don’t just mean arts and crafts. Every child is born creative in something. But with screens everywhere, our children are becoming consumers of entertainment rather than creative contributors of ideas, stories, and dreams. Let’s put down the devices, avoid the endless web searches for kids’ activities, and cultivate the real-life creativity born into our children. Here are 3 ways you can spark your children’s creativity at home.
1. Let ’em get messy.
This might sound like a nightmare, but hang with me. Remember when your children were learning to feed themselves? The mess that ensued as they tried to aim their spoons into their mouths for the first time is similar to the mess a child will make with watercolors and oil pastels. There’s definitely a learning curve, but once kids get the hang of it, they’ll be able to prep his materials and clean up after himself. Besides, the messier the fun is, the more memorable it can be. Keeping the materials visible and accessible to children will allow them the freedom to create when inspiration strikes. Craft supplies may not be the trendiest home decor, but there will be plenty of time when your child is out of the house to own nice things.
Craft supplies may not be the trendiest home decor, but there will be plenty of time when your child is out of the house to own nice things.
2. Remember, your “creative” might not be their “creative.”
Not all people define creativity the same way. I love drawing and coloring, but my son enjoys writing short stories and making flip-books with sticky notes. My daughter enjoys making up her own lyrics to songs while she colors. We are all made with different expressions of creativity. It can be fun to make structured crafts using sites like Pinterest; but beware that even structured crafts can impede creativity. Hit pause on the endless searching for children’s activities and crafts. Show your children that you believe in their creative ability by allowing them the freedom and space to express it without your input.
3. Put some wind in their creativity sails.
At first, my kids had a hard time getting past the “I’m bored” stage and into their creative mode. Even in creative mode, staring at a blank piece of paper or canvas can be daunting. My daughter often will ask, “What should I draw?” Many times, I have had to join in to my children’s creative endeavors to help them get started. Inspiration can come from anywhere—even from just silly conversations. As your children’s creativity trainer, you can provide inspiration, push through their fears of messing up, block off time for creative activities, and sometimes help equip them with necessary materials to make a masterpiece.
How do you make time to express creativity in your day to day life?