“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” This quote by Albert Einstein is the best manner in which to approach ways to encourage creativity in your child.
Creativity is one of the skills most lacking in youth today. Of course, there are outliers. However, thinking outside of the box, critical thinking, creatively improving processes, or venturing thinking outside of the norms is scarce in many children today.
The instant-gratification culture leaves little to be desired in thinking for oneself and in challenges that stretch the imagination.
In reading about creativity for my kids, this ideal made a lot of sense to me:
There is a write up called “The Four Components of Creativity” By Psychologist Ellis P. Torrance. It basically describes four things to consider when encouraging creativity in our children.
The four components are fluency/familiarity, flexibility, originality, and elaboration.
Fluency/familiarity – Provide plenty of opportunities for kids to use creativity. Ask questions and let them think and explore on their own.
Flexibility – Let children make mistakes in the process. Let them fix mistakes and figure solutions out on their own.
Originality – Promote originally. Celebrate the idea that your kids aren’t like anyone else. Allow them to create without correcting them. Using playdough and painting is perfect for this.
God knows every little hair on their head, none like any other in the world. That is pretty cool and they should know it.
Elaboration – Provide your kids with opportunities to extend their ideas. Give them new opportunities to expand on what they know.
For instance, kids are given playdough to make objects to explore creating something. Add objects that they can use the playdough with like cookie cutters or pipe cleaners. See what they do with them.
If your child has written a paper, allow them to write from a different perspective like from a religious point of view or a female point of view. It will allow them to think of different perspectives.
These resources will help you with ways to encourage creativity in your child:
Websites That Encourage Creativity in Kids | Amyʻs Wandering
Inspire Creativity (12 FREE Printable Quotes) | The Kitchen Table Classroom
Encouraging Creativity in Young Children FREE Printable | Flanders Family Homelife
Provide them with the tools to create.
Opportunity isn’t something everyone has. If you have the ability to get tools for your kids, get them. Whether it be watercolors, writing utensils, paper, paintbrushes. Then just let them CREATE. No guidelines, no rules, no purpose except to make whatever they feel they want to make.
Give them free time to draw, paint, and color without direction and see how they express themselves creatively and celebrate their creations.
Support their passion, do not surpass it.
I would LOVE my kids to play the violin or be MMA fighters. Don’t judge me – we all have our thing, MMA is mine.
Let your kids explore enough things where they can develop a hobby. Hobbies have been known to help kids develop a sense of identity and creativity.
Pay attention to their interests and even lost interest. They will eventually find what they love and what they are good at.
Limit screen time.
I know this idea is everywhere. However, make screen time a privilege, not a norm. That way the rest of the time kids are able to use their minds to create their thoughts, their own fun, their own activities.
Let there be light, kidding – LET THERE BE BOREDOM.
All the children that come to home (meaning my children’s friends) know that there are some words and phrases not allowed. “I’m bored” is one of those phrases.
If a child is bored I swiftly have a chore for them to do, no matter what child you are. They have been warned. Kids know they must entertain themselves, including my kids. They need to go outside, explore, play games, and discover nature.
It’s Ok to let kids be bored. Boredom forces children to create their own fun, and they do.
Encourage reading books that show creativity.
Books for Teaching Creativity including creative problem solving | The Best Children’s Books
10 Children’s Books to Inspire Creativity in Kids | Self-Sufficient Kids
Encourage all different types of creative playing including make-believe, storytelling, and playing dress-up. Help your kids make forts in and outside your home, then let them create the story behind the atmosphere and characters.
Here are a few more ideas:
Help Your Children Use Their Imagination with Creative Play | The Frugal Navy Wife
32 FREE Pretend Play Printables | My Joy-Filled Life
Pretend Play FREE Printables for Kids | The Dating Divas
Ways To Encourage Creativity In Children Through Toys | The Mom Trotter
Encourage Unstructured Play for Children | Just Simply Mom
Explore crafts and activities.
50+ Kids Activities to Encourage Creativity | Mommy Potamus
How To Make A Frugal Inventor’s Box Your Child Will Love | Rock Your Homeschool
Cut and Arrange Creative Writing Stories for Kids – Puppy Trouble | Welcome to the Family Table
Create and Craft with Kids | Create I the Chaos
Encourage creative writing.
How to Make Creative Writing Fun with Comic Strips | Rock Your Homeschool
Creative Writing with Kids – Storytelling | R.E.A.L – World Learners
FREE Creative Math Writing Prompt: The Day the __ Quit! | Math Geek Mama
Creative Writing Prompts for Kids- 150+ Pages of FREE Printable Prompts | The Kitchen Table Classroom
Creative Writing – Wiggle Writing and MORE! FREE Creative Writing Pack | This Reading Mama
Remember the value of encouraging creativity in our children. It created future leaders that think for themselves and find better ways to do things.
Give them the tools to create and set the parameters to which they can do so.
Do creative things with your kids, and avoid doing things for them. Have fun creating right alongside them and make memories on the way.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.” — Maya Angelou
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!