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We all want to raise creative kids. We want our kids to be able to create and develop new and innovative ideas and use that to have success in their lives now and in the future. But, the question is how do we make that happen?
What makes kids more creative? A lot of times, because it is easier for us, we stifle their big plans and ideas. I am guilty of this.
We need to be more willing to go with the flow and let them take the lead on things. I have a list of ten ways I think will help us to raise creative kids.
Here Are 10 Ways to Raise Creative Kids
1. Allow Messes Sometimes! Yesterday my kids wanted to make telescopes with leftover paper towel rolls. They got out glue and construction paper and stickers and all kinds of craft supplies and were having so much fun.
This was done all on their own with no guidance. They made an enormous mess, especially when the paint came out. But, they were so happy and so proud of their creations! Just make sure, they are cleaning up after. Here are a few MESSY play and learning activities you can try: How to Make Slime, Kinetic Sand, Cloud Dough
2. Let them do things on their own. It is alright is the tape gets twisted or the juice splatters a little, they need to learn that they are able to do things! The more they do on their own, the more their brains will expand and develop in new ways.
I have learned that kids reach a certain age where they just need more freedom and less interference from me. Each year they mature a little more and are able to take on more things on their own. Encourage this independence.
3. Open-ended play is critical to build creative minds. Let them decide how they want to play and choose the things they want to use to play.
Check out these Building Toys we made from PVC pipes!
I often don’t let my kids have 2 types of toys out at once because of the mess that it creates. I always say “put that away then we can play with the other toys”.
I have learned that when I allow them to make a little bigger mess and mix their toys they have a lot more fun playing!
4. Limit screen time (and make sure the time in front of the screen is more meaningful like educational shows and games). I am definitely not anti-screen. Technology is so incredible and I love all of the awesome creative things that can be done with it. Just use technology wisely.
Don’t let it be a babysitter, but let it continue to inspire your kids creative thoughts. Use it for all of the GOOD purposes! Teach them coding and web design, let them play some of the highly educational apps available these days.
5. Read many kinds of books to them. Variety is important because it exposes them to many different kinds of ideas and writing styles. They learn new vocabulary and are given new creative ideas to explore. Check out our list of must-read classics!
6. Let them explore outside. We live on a mountain and my kids are able to roam free (a little). Find a safe place for your kids to be able to explore and roam.
Outdoor time is so important for everyone to have on a regular basis. Fresh air and nature just really does something to clear your head.
You will be surprised how much they will notice about the world around them. My kids tell me about animal tracks and different plants that they see. They notice the sunsets and the birds. It is a wonderful thing for them to see and learn how the world works.
This is a picture of my kids attempting to make a bird’s nest all on their own after a lesson about birds in our homeschool. They were discussing the best way to make it work. See some of our Nature themed activities.
7. Teach them problem solving skills. Let them figure out solutions to problems they may be facing on their own sometimes. I think it is really good for kids to take on this role at times.
I usually do this when my kids come to me with some sort of petty argument. I let them figure out a solution that makes both kids happy. Also, share some of the problems you may be having and let them offer advice.
8. Let them explore the things they love most. All kids have a passion. If it is ballerinas, horses, cars & trucks, dirt, etc. each child’s passion is so important to them. Let them explore it and learn everything their little hearts desire to learn about that topic.
Who knows, this passion really could turn into a career. Your dirt-loving kid just might be a geologist some day!
My son is passionate about animals and has been since he was a tiny little kid. He now says that he wants to be a zoologist or a veterinarian. I encouraged his passion by getting him loads of books on the topic and he is really an expert in the field now!
9. Make sure their minds (and bodies!) are being stretched on a regular basis. If school is too easy, see if there are ways to increase their workload (whether it be at home or in clubs or other situations). Push them in their learning, but not too far or it will break them. A challenge is a good thing!
Challenges don’t just have to be with school, though. Push them with music lessons, sports, or other skills that will stretch them to just beyond their reach. They CAN do hard things!
10. Allow failure and let it be a lesson. We all fail at times in our lives. If your child didn’t make the team they tried out for it may be a huge disappointment. Maybe they didn’t do as well on a test or a project as they should have, or whatever the failure may be.
Let them fail and let them learn from it.
I can think of many failures and struggles that I had in my life. I can think of times when I was so heartbroken I didn’t think I could go on. However, those moments are so strong in my memory because they made me stronger, braver and wiser.
It hurts to see your kids fail, but they do need it. Those hard times will mold them into tougher people, more capable to take on the world we live in and succeed!
What are you doing to raise creative kids??