4 Reasons to Encourage Creativity at Home

art
Image via Katie Hurley

Creativity helps children view the world through a different lens.  When kids are engaged in activities that require creative thinking, they enter a different world of their own creation.  They are free to think, problem-solve, and express themselves without concern about providing the right answer. 

Creativity allows children to be individuals.

Once kids enter elementary school, many kids engage in less creative work.  It makes sense.  There is a lot of curriculum to cover each year, and not all of it can be taught with a crayon in hand (as is often the case in preschool).  With budgets tight in many school districts, a weekly art class isn’t always an option, either.  With that in mind, it’s time kick up the creativity at home!

4 Reasons to encourage creativity at home:

Image via Flickr/rawartistmedia
Image via Flickr/rawartistmedia

Expression of emotions:

Little kids have big feelings at times, but they don’t always know how to verbalize their feelings.  Art, in any form, is a great way to release emotions. 

Some kids love to scribble out their feelings in various colors to match their moods, others like to paint, and some like to pound on clay or Play Doh.  Art is messy, fun, and engaging, and kids tend to open up when focused on a project of their own creation. 

Set up a few different options and let your child take the lead.

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Image via Flickr/JustyCinMD

Improves problem-solving skills:

Young children tend to get stuck on perfectionism.  They might want to color a picture exactly as it appears on the front of a coloring book, for example.  While understanding rules and following directions are certainly part of growing up, there is a lot to be gained from a more open-ended approach to art.

Consider giving your child a variety or materials (ex:  construction paper, buttons, glue, pipe cleaner, foam, etc.) and ask them to create something from the items provided.  When kids have a blank slate and a variety of materials, they are forced to think outside the box.  They have to figure out how to make the materials work together.  They have to plan and design a project from scratch.  This project helps kids work on problem-solving skills.  

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Image via Flickr/Jason Lander

Stress reduction:

Kids need downtime to relax and decompress after school or at the end of a long week.  When they have the opportunity to engage in quiet time projects that make them happy, they experience less overall stress.

Kneading clay helps release pent up stress and painting and coloring can be very calming.  Encourage your child to find what works for him and support him when he needs that time to relax.  

Image via Flickr/Jhaymeviphotography
Image via Flickr/Jhaymeviphotography

Increased independence:

Creating something from nothing can be very empowering.  When we give kids the chance to create of their own free will, they work independently.  They think about what they want to do, problem-solve to get it right, and create artwork without following a script or plan a performance with their vision in mind.  This process increases their self-confidence and independence.

Long story short:  Get creative in your home and watch your child thrive!

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What do you think?

4 Reasons to Encourage Creativity at Home

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" and "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about he ... More

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5 comments

  1. mommy nhoj says:

    I consider myself not so creative but we will try to foster creativity at home

  2. can’t wait to do arts and crafts w/ her when she gets older 🙂

  3. Summertime94 says:

    cant wait to do crafty mom stuff

  4. ProudMomma says:

    I am all about creativity and think you have to flourish the mind of the children to ensure they think outside the box!!!

  5. Rola says:

    I think freedom of creativity for children is great. They are the outside of the box thinker.

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