Making Opportunities for Creative Pursuits
Responsibilities & Values
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How do you motivate your child to be creative?
When your children are still young, what are some things you can do to encourage them to enjoy childhood and utilize their creativity instead of turning to a device to provide all their entertainment?
First, naturally limit use of electronic devices to fill times of boredom.
A quick Google search of “the value of boredom” revealed:
- How Being Bored Out of Your Mind Makes You More Creative,
- The Surprising Benefits of Boredom, and
- The Scientific Benefits of Being Bored.
Why is it that we have lost the love of boredom? Where do good ideas come from? Being bored. Making sure that we don’t hand our child a device or allow them to flip on the television or computer every time they claim “I’m bored,” is a huge step toward helping them develop skills that allow them to seek alternatives to electronics.
Setting up stations or areas where your child can go when they are bored, can encourage creative play
A Dress-Up Station
Fill a bin with open-ended dress-up ideas. Old clothes from your closet, Grandma’s or Goodwill is a great start. Look for Halloween costumes on sale in the winter. Scarves, costume jewelry, and even large fabric remnants can inspire your little one to get into character and go on adventures. Accessories such as shoes and sunglasses also add a fun touch. Don’t forget a mirror so they can see how great they look. Dress-up can result in hours of pretending, dance events, and creative character play.
A Building Station
A tub with building supplies provides an opportunity for trial and error and figuring out the best way to create a project. Of course, Legos are great but so are other building materials. A visit to a construction site dumpster (with permission) or the local home improvement store can yield endless pieces for modular play. Various size pieces of PVC pipe and fittings, boards (remove any nails or splinters), and other building materials make for fort building paradise. Add a few sheets from a yard sale and your children may want to spend the night in their new creation.
An Arts & Crafts Station
Another storage tub could be dedicated to arts and crafts supplies. Stock up when school supplies are plentiful and add paints and paint brushes, fabric scraps and embroidery thread, glue and some construction paper, old magazines, and a couple of T-shirt’ for smocks. Your artistic child will be content for hours creating a masterpiece for your fridge.
As with any activity for young children, you will need to set parameters on where they can spread out their creative supplies and how they will need to clean them up and return them to the storage tub. Eventually they will be able to independently choose activities, rather than always going to a device for entertainment.
By offering this unstructured time, think of the opportunities you are providing for your child. They are practicing skills that use creativity, imagination, and innovation. So next time your youngster starts to whine, instead of handing over the iPad, reach for an activity tub to inspire them