When most people think of the essential skills that children need to succeed in academics, speaking, reading, writing, and counting is what comes to mind. Creativity, whether it is in the form of painting, drawing, molding figures out of clay, or acting out a play, is essential for the development and emotional and mental health of your child. It is the freest form of self-expression, satisfying and fulfilling children's needs to express themselves openly and without judgment.
Fostering Your Child’s Creativity
While it looks different from child to child, everyone's kid is born with the ability to be creative. Creativity isn’t saved for people with unusual or awesome talents — it is about thinking and expressing ourselves; discovering and inventing new things. Lighthouse Explorers, a Christian childcare center in Rosemount, strive to foster your child’s creativity. Enroll with us today.
Why Creativity is Important for Kids
In addition to being a vital part of their self-expression, creativity also helps build self-confidence. Making something with your own hands enhances your self-confidence, and when you see someone reacting in a positive way, it makes you feel proud and boost confidence even more! Even the simple acts of putting your child’s artwork on your fridge or around the house tells them that their work is valued and appreciated.
Improves Fine Motor Skills
Activities like drawing and painting with pencils and paintbrushes improve children’s fine motor skills more quickly. Further, practicing skills like cutting, tearing, and molding clay at an early age give them the ability to use their fine motor skills in everyday life, whether it be holding a knife and fork or tying their shoelaces.
Improves Emotional Development
What children create can oftentimes be a reflection of their personal feelings, experiences, and thoughts that they cannot express verbally. In this way, creative arts can help children release their feelings.
Improves Social Development
Being in a creative environment, whether it be art class, dance class, or theater, kids are encouraged to interact with one another and share ideas and creations. This builds confidence in their abilities during social interaction, but also helps them build indispensable social skills like communication, sympathy, and respect.
Helps With Concentration and Focus
The art of focus is a learned ability that can be sharpened by concentrating on the task at hand in a peaceful environment. The more your child has experience working on art projects or things with their hands, they train themselves on how to focus for long periods of time.
There are even more benefits of creativity, but one of the most important aspects of creativity is that it’s fun! Children are learning a lot every single day, and expectations of them can be overwhelming. Providing children with an outlet to learn, discover, and create on their own terms can bring the child an immense amount of happiness, calmness, and relief from the stress of life.
How to Foster Child’s Creativity
Kids are natural innovators with powerful imaginations, and without the space and time to express their imaginations, they are unable to reap the benefits. To help foster your child’s innate creativity, try the following:
Designate A Space For Creating
You don’t have to let your child run free around the house with a fist full of crayons or markers, expecting a new piece of art on the walls every time you turn the corner to encourage their creativity. Save yourself the headache and extra cleanup time by giving them a space — whether it be a room or a corner of a room — where they can get creative. You don’t even have to deck out the play area with high-end toys, a box of LEGOs, a box of clothes for dress up, or some construction paper and a box of crayons will do just fine. It’s important to remember that creativity can flourish anywhere, just as long as it has the tools to thrive. The key is for your child to feel like they have control over their space.
Give Your Child Free and Unstructured Play Time
Extracurricular activities are great for children, and allow them to gain all sorts of new skills. Downtime, however, is essential for creativity. There are no deadlines, no goals that children have to meet, and nothing to be judged — it is a time for them to completely do their own thing and enjoy the fruits of their labor! Whether or not your child does anything is up to them, but having a window of time open and available to putter and play around may get the gears in their head moving.
Support Their Free Thinking and Creativity
In addition to having a creative space for your child, it is equally as important to have a creative atmosphere. But what exactly does this entail? Well, it starts with resisting the urge to evaluate the ideas your kids come up with. Brainstorm weekend activities with your kids, encouraging them to try things they’ve never done before. Avoid telling them which ideas are impossible and which ideas are the “best.” Creativity is surely about the process of generating new ideas than evaluating those ideas.
To bolster the creative environment, you can also encourage your kids to make mistakes and fail. It is not uncommon for people to believe that failure breeds shame and stunts creativity. While this could be true if the child receives negative feedback about their failure and are told they are not good enough, the ability to fail and then share that failure with others tells them that it is okay to make mistakes — people make mistakes all the time, and they will make even more when they’re older! Being able to laugh at themselves and then try again creates a habit of happiness and perseverance, but also celebrates creativity and innovation.
Lastly, children learn by example. Tell your kids about your creative efforts, about your favorite artists, musicians, and scientists. Share your passion about your favorite hobby and share your mistakes. Take the time for your own creativity as well, whether it is reading or joining your children in coloring. Creating together gives the whole family a chance to bond with each other and also gives everyone the chance to have some fun.
When children play freely on their own, their creativity knows no bounds. Overparenting, or hovering over your child while they play outside of color inside of a coloring book throws a wet blanket on the whole practice, and could even completely wipe out their creativity. There is a line separating facilitating and managing. Children look through the world with new eyes and learn from experience, taking in information and learning how to problem solve by doing things on their own.
Lighthouse Explorer designates plenty of room for your children to explore their creativity and expression because we believe in it just as much as they do! Whether they are in our infant room, toddler room, or preschool room, our Christian daycare fosters their creative skills as well as their academic and spiritual skills. If you want to learn more about our early childhood curriculum, or would like to tour our Christian daycare, then don’t hesitate to contact us today!