Cultivating creativity in your children goes far beyond a crafting table and art supplies. It's a way of seeing the world. It's a mindset to try new things and to have the courage to fail often. It's to have a critical eye on the problems of the world and the inner resolve to make things better.
Everyone is creative. Creativity is not limited to those with natural talent for art. God's very first tangible acts in our universe involved creating everything. And we've been made in His image. In heaven, we'll go on creating with God for all eternity. In a sense, we were born to create things!
Author Julia Cameron writes, “Exercising our creativity is an act of faith, which connects us to a higher power. When we are willing to explore our creative gifts, we allow both ourselves and our children to connect to something greater — and to each other.”
1. Model imperfection. One of the keys to cultivating creativity in kids is to create a safe space for them to take risks and make mistakes. If you create freely and model that messing up is part of life, then your child is likely to do the same. Don't fixate on perfection. Reward risk-taking and innovation, not final results and performance. Honor failed experiments just as much as successful ones.
2. Play "make believe" often. Go on a creative journey with your child. Whether you're playing in your home or taking a trip to the zoo, activate your minds by pretending to be on an adventure. Use your imagination to create fun story lines and unique solutions to problems that might arise.
3. Show examples to spark creative thinking. Don't buy into the myth that creativity is a natural gift and that you need to get out of the way and let your child express themselves. They need help and guidance.
4. Extend time for projects. One of the great hinderances to creativity is the actual space and time to allot for innovative thinking. Busy schedules that cut off projects to early do more harm than good. Give your kids freedom and autonomy to explore their ideas and do what they want.
5. Ask questions. Be curious about your child's ideas. By showing your genuine interest in their thought process, you are conveying that their thoughts, ideas, and work really matter.
1. Book: The Artist's Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children by Julia Cameron
2. Article from TED: 10 Tips for Cultivating Creativity in Your Kids
3. Article: 25 Ways to Spark Your Child's Creative Thinking