When we think of all the skills a child needs to learn to be able to succeed academically, we often think of reading, writing, concentration, math and so on. However, one of the most important skills children need to develop is their creativity. Creativity is what children use to write stories, solve problems, play music, make arts and crafts and even perform complex math operations.
So what exactly is creativity?
Creativity = NEW IDEAS
Creativity = ADVENTURE
Creativity = FUN
There are more than one ways to be creative and some useful tips are listed below:
1. A child with high self-esteem is confident to try new things and believes in his own ability to be creative. Have a ready supply of arts and crafts to make with your child. Why not encourage your child to make his own Eid and Ramadan cards? It may not be a pro one but he/she is developing a creative thought. In turn he will gain confidence over people being appreciative by valuing his efforts.
- Read to your child. It may seem obvious but the more stories a child hears, the more his imagination will be stimulated. Why not ask your child to tell you a story? You may find that it bears a strong resemblance to stories you have read to him, but typically there will be elements of more than one story. That is what creativity is – making associations between different ideas to create something new. When your child is learning to read and write, ask him to write out his stories, illustrate them and turn them into keepsake books.
- Children begin to play "pretend" at around the age of 18 months. In early age it will be simple but as they get older, their pretend play will become more sophisticated. Whatever type of pretend play they engage in, whether it’s charging up and down the stairs pretending to be dinosaurs or dancing around playing princesses, it’s all good. They’re stimulating their imagination and creating new stories, and would appreciate if parents join in.What better way to build self-esteem in your child?
- Let your child help you in the kitchen. Cooking may not feel very much like being creative when you do it every night. However, watching a sloppy cake mixture turn into a light, fluffy sponge is fascinating for children. Putting two ingredients together to make a third new flavor is creativity in action. Or even more so create shapes out of cookies :)
- Children have an open-minded approach to everything, and puzzles are great way to stimulate their creating thinking. They can often solve puzzles more easily than adults simply because they aren't limited by adult preconceptions of how things work.
- Give your child time and space. Children need time every day to play and daydream. If every waking moment is filled with activities, your child will never have the time to use his imagination and think creatively.
REMEMBER: Creative children aren't just good artists—they're good writers, problem solvers and thinkers.