Boosting creativity in a child is a big challenge for every parent, particularly over holiday periods. Kids spend as much time as they can glued to the TV, tablet or smartphone, and while sometimes that is easier for the parent, and does them a favour for a period of time, you can feel it doing them no good cognitively the longer they spend doing it.
But then asking a child to try “expanding their mind” during the holidays is met with a blank refusal and the suggestion that it sounds just like being at school. But now we are reaching the end of the summer holidays and the dreaded ‘Back to School’ signs are in the shops, this idea of promoting creativity gets even harder. Making the most of the last few days of the holidays and the upcoming weekends are the new challenge.
So how can parents help their kids be creative at home? Anti-boredom plans are a big part of being a parent, particularly during the summer holidays, but now the holidays are over and there are no more day trips or exciting visits planned, how do you help the kids be creative? This depends on their age of course, but here are a few ideas that span all ages and should help any brain tick over.
These are useful skills to pick up at any time, and can be really practical for the family when work and school patterns return to normal. Helping children explore flavours, taste, texture and colours is a great way to expand their thinking. What works and what doesn’t can open up a world of sensations and really get them interested in food, flavours and cultures.
Making models, reading books or using smartphone apps can help explain the enduring fascination of space. Kids can find out about the concept of space, and where things like stars, planets and galaxies are and use their imagination to draw or write about what aliens could be or what spaceships can do.
Using craft skills to make gifts is an age-old pastime to boost kids’ creativity, and it is always someone’s birthday or anniversary. You can also now design personalised wrapping paper on the Dom & Geri website. Why not find design templates and upload photos to make a gift special and unique and made entirely using your child’s creativity?
Art offers endless creativity options involving textures and shapes and what works visually and what doesn’t. Using personalised wrapping paper you can also produce collages and colourful wall art, and you can cover items in paper to make unusual shapes or for the kids to guess what it is.
Find better apps
Obviously you don’t want the kids glued to their phones, but there are ways to promote creativity if this is proving difficult. There are plenty of problem-solving apps, language learning apps or games that make you think, which can all be used in moderation.
With a modest investment, or even using an app on a tablet, your child can make music and/or learn an instrument. Music ignites the senses, releases tension, creates an outlet for thoughts and emotions, and builds important skills.
Everyone thinks they have a book in them, so why not try it? A basic story can be written down a line at a time, maybe passing it around a group so everyone can take part. See where it goes, because with creativity, there are no rules.