Historically, academia has almost always out-trumped creativity, with topics such as maths, science, history, and grammar thought to be more important than expressing yourself creatively. However, recently, things have begun to change, with creative subjects now being embraced too.
Yes, academic subjects and creative subjects are both equally important and can both offer your children valuable skills and life lessons. In fact, young children can be naturals when it comes using their imaginations and they can be incredibly expressive and resourceful. So, here are 10 tips to help your kids develop their creativity at school.
10 Embrace The Mess
Let's face it, kids make a lot of mess, especially when they are being creative. The best thing you can do is embrace the mess rather than freak out about it and continuously attempt to clean it. Yes, the more you panic, the more reluctant your child will be when it comes to painting, drawing or anything else they might want to do.
Plus, when they are at school, they are probably allowed to be a little bit messy during their appointed creative time, so it is important that you mirror that image when they are at home.
9 Reduce Screen Time
Firstly, it is important to remember that we are now well and truly living in the age of the screen time era. Yes, no matter how much you might hate it, kids will always find a way to watch things on a variety of screens, and guess what? They will like it.
Don't worry, it isn't always bad. Smartphones and tablets can be great resources for learning and are also good for keeping your kids quiet for a few minutes. However, it is also important to reduce that screen time in favor of encouraging your little ones to be a little creative (with their hands) instead. The more they get used to it, the more they will continue to love it.
8 Set Aside Creative Time
Every parent knows that scheduling and routine is one of the most important things when raising children. Therefore, it is a good idea to incorporate creativity into their regular timetable. That's right, allocating creative time can be a great way to encourage your children to be more creative at home and at school.
However, it is also just as important to allow "free time" so your child doesn't see being creative as a chore. For instance, the next time they want to just suddenly paint or draw, let them and don't worry about the consequences that it might have.
7 Encourage Risk Taking
The best thing a child can learn about being creative is that there no rules or regulations and certainly no right and wrong. Yes, in a world full of trials and tribulations, your kids will definitely appreciate the fact that they don't have to construct or complete things a certain way, especially at school.
Instead, encourage your little ones to take risks when creating things, even if they think that it might not work out in the end. That's right, forcing your kids to "color within the lines" literally and metaphorically can limit their creativeness and sense of freedom.
6 Allow Freedom
What did you enjoy the most when you were a kid? Freedom, of course! Yes, having the ability to choose what they want to do is not only liberating but it will also help them develop their own likes and dislikes without you forcing your own opinions on to them.
That's right, try not to be so bossy when it comes to them wanting to do their own thing. For instance, maybe you like painting and always envisioned sharing that with your child. Sadly, life doesn't quite work the way we want it sometimes, therefore it is important to let your little ones do what they want to with the support of their parents.
5 Ask Questions
The next time your child has been creative, why not ask them certain questions? For instance, ask them why they decided to paint something a certain color, or why they have chosen to learn that instrument instead of another.
Being inquisitive will not only give your kids confidence, it will also let them know that you are interested in what they are doing and that you fully support their choices. Plus, asking questions can also somewhat validate their decisions and ideas, something extremely important in the wonderful world of creativity.
4 Be Creative Yourself
Children often learn by example and are usually incredibly influenced by their parents and other family members. Therefore, it is important to show your children that you are also extremely creative and that you enjoy expressing yourself in many different ways.
For instance, it is a good idea to get the whole family involved, whether it be drawing, painting or just simply building a fort in their bedroom. Not only does this help encourage their creative outlets but it is also a good opportunity for the whole family to bond creatively, something that will hopefully be passed on at school time too.
3 Display Their Work
This might seem a little obvious, but displaying your child's artwork can have some great benefits to their overall confidence and creative ability. Yes, whether it be a bit of tissue stuck on some cardboard or a few squiggles on a piece of paper, proudly displaying their artwork is a wonderful way to encourage them and make them feel worthy.
In fact, putting up their art on the walls at home will also give them that little boost to maybe create something just as amazing at school with the hope that their work might also go on the walls of their school.
2 Play Games
Yes, board games might be a great way to teach your kids how to be cooperative and patient but they are also a great opportunity to have some hard-earned family time and bonding. That's right, board games are a great excuse to get the family together and can really turn a bad day into a fun-filled few hours.
Even better, board games can also help your kids express themselves creatively. For instance, why not choose a board game that centers on certain themes that your kid enjoys, such as history, art or geology? This can also help them stay more active and interested in such subjects at school.
1 Don't Reward Them For Being Creative
It is often said that parents should refrain from offering their children so much praise, yet the action is far easier said than done. Yes, purposefully not praising your kids can be difficult, especially when they are little. However, when it comes to being creative, rather than just saying "well done" or "that's great," try asking questions about their work instead.
That's right, showing interest and intrigue can validate their work and make them feel like they have actually created something worth talking about. Furthermore, try to avoid rewarding them for being creative too: this is something that won't happen at school and will help them see creativity as something expressive and free rather than a chore.