Inspiring and Expanding Our Child’s Creativity
Blip. Beep. Ding.
These are the sounds coming from your child these days thanks to the iPad and video games that seem attached to their small hands.
In this day and age, kids are spending more time in front of the television and computer, and less time using their imaginations and exercising their creativity. While electronic devices have their place, it’s important we as parents encourage, inspire, and support their imaginations, development, and creative curiosities about our world. Even we need to be a little creative to expand our children’s imaginations and foster lifelong passions and perhaps even future careers.
I know you may be saying, “But Vicki, they don’t want to put those iPads down.” The key is that as Moms we must provide them with something even better, plus all the tools and supplies they need to spend their time doing something much more worthwhile as they create and explore.
Here are a few fun + creative outlets based on your child’s favorite interests:
For the future scientist:
This crystal growing kit is a fun and magical way to get your child interested in science. It has everything your kiddo needs to grow various colored crystal formations. Talk to them about different scientists who have discovered and invented things throughout history- the automobile, the telephone, the water purifier- and how important it is to think “outside the box” and experiment. Once the crystals take shape, they will make great room decorations or gifts for grandparents.
For the Future Artist:
Most children love to show their creativity through art. Set up a creative art corner somewhere in the house or even in the garage. At stores like Michaels, you can purchase an art easel, paper, paints and brushes. Be creative and buy colored pencils, tubes of paint and special markers. Reuse and repurpose empty boxes as canvases. All artists need inspiration, so take a walks outside or in the parks to find the “wow” in the flowers, a sunset, a beautiful old neighborhood tree. Encourage your emerging artist to take a photo on your phone and try to recreate the image. You can create a gallery in your child’s room or family room for all of the “masterpieces.” Make sure your child signs their artwork. These also make great gifts. Don’t buy Aunt Meg a birthday gift. Make her something special. Give her an Ashley Original.
For the Brainiac:
It might sound old-fashioned, but puzzles never go out of style. If your child likes concentration and focus games then work on a puzzle. Find a space on any table in the house, and create a “puzzle area”. They can work on the puzzle for 20, 30, or even 60 minutes a day. The slow progression toward completion will help them exercise their minds and patience. When they finally complete the puzzle, they can celebrate their triumph feeling proud and victorious.
For the future Spielberg:
Kids love making their own “trailers” of their lives. Most IPads have easy programs where you can do this as a family or your child can film friends or even the dog. The programs tell your child what kinds of shots are needed – action shots, close-ups, etc. – and they even get to write their own credits. It’s so much fun to share the trailers with family and friends. You can even post them, so grandma in another city can get a special treat.
For the Future Artisan:
Knitting is a great hobby that your children can work on each day after school. Little by little, they will slowly see a product come to life. They can make hats, scarves, gloves, tote bags, and so much more. The creative designs are truly endless. Find a little bit of help in “My First Knitting Book” or a knitting loom, both for beginners, and watch how quickly they grasp the concepts and techniques. We are thinking this could lead to a wonderful Mother’s Day gift!
For the Future Musician:
There are many benefits to children learning to play instruments, outside of the music itself. It improves academic skills as music and math are highly intertwined. Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills as it requires movement of the hands, arms and feet. The daily practice and slow progress refines discipline and patience, because learning an instrument teaches children about delayed gratification. It also boosts a child’s self-esteem through performances and talent advancement. For instance, if your child is interested in play the guitar, you can get them this “My First Guitar” teaching book and borrow or purchase a used guitar. Take notice in the level of interest they have in learning to play, and then decide if lessons or classes would be a good fit for your child.
It just takes a little planning, support and encouragement to make your child put down the electronic games and engage in other activities. Remember that as your child grows, his or her personality is taking shape and new interests will pop up.
Being exposed to new and exciting things are what ignites their creativity and curiosity. Creating the landscape for them to grown, learn, be inspired, and become the amazing person they are destined to be.
Suddenly that blip and bleep will be replaced by a little voice saying, “Thanks, Mom.”