Everyone is creative, including you.
I used to have the belief that creativity equates to harnessing a certain skill. Now, I see creativity being displayed in various ways. In a typical preschool classroom, I see myself putting out fires, healing animals, flying on a spaceship, being a doctor, driving trucks with children – and it is all thanks to the children's creative minds that I get to embark on adventures like that!
In this age of technology where toys are made more sophisticated and ‘high-tech’, it can be difficult for children to hone their creativity. Instead of letting children decide what they want to do or what they want to create, children are subconsciously led to a particular end goal of close-ended toys (toys with limited ways of playing with them). This leads to parents thinking that children are bored or disinterested and that their children always need something to keep them occupied.
It is a mindful action when we leave our children to do nothing and allow them to choose what they want to do. That moment of boredom could spark a child's creative thought, such as working in an imaginary restaurant, be a fireman, or even create a new story by doodling on a piece of paper! These moments are precious as they are self-led and children's creativity is not influenced by anything or anyone.
Here are some tips to foster creativity in your child:
1. Provide open-ended materials such as scarves and cardboard boxes. You will be surprised by what your child can come up with!
2. Emphasize the process rather than the product (and do shower them with lots of encouragement).
3. Give your child time and freedom to explore their ideas and do what they want, within the parameters of safety.
4. Allow your child to make mistakes and fail so that they can continue to create.
5. Encourage your child to find more than one route to a solution, and more than one solution to a problem.
Creativity is a skill that we can help children to develop and it is also the key to success in nearly everything we do!