Raising Creative Kids
In part one of our Raising Creative Kids series, we’re going to start with baby steps and focus on a few easy things you can do in the course of a simple conversation to encourage creativity everyday. Think of these four ideas next time you’re in the car or at the dinner table and see where they lead:
1. Listen and Ask Questions
When you show an interest in your children’s stories and viewpoints you help build their confidence, and you open up opportunities to encourage them to think deeper. Ask “why” and “what if” questions to get them thinking about things in different ways.
2. Make Up Stories
Turn mundane activities into quality time when you pick a subject at random and create a story out of it. To start, take turns picking two things (i.e. a dog and a yellow front door) and then come up with a story to connect them. Bruce Van Patter, the creator of Keep Kids Creative week, and an illustrator and author, has a lot of great ideas on his website including some great points about how you can encourage your kids to create stories.
3. Solicit Ideas
Look for opportunities to brainstorm together. Everything from figuring out what to have for dinner to what to do over the weekend is a chance for creativity. Just make sure to focus on creating the ideas, not evaluating them. Although this goes against nature (or at least my nature), remember that the goal isn’t actually to come to a resolution… yet. The first goal is to come up with as many ideas, both practical and silly, as you can. After you’ve enjoyed some creative brainstorming you can pick the best idea from the bunch.
4. Focus on the Process and Not the End Result
It’s natural to ask ‘what happened’, but to best encourage creativity try to ask about the process instead. Did you have fun? What was it like? How did you do it?
These are very simple changes that will have a big payoff for you and your kids. But, even though they seem simple, for most people making these changes will take some practice. Soon though, you’ll find that they will become second nature. Do you do these things with your kiddos? Share your thoughts in the comments and check back for more ideas soon!