As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to help your child succeed. But in the pursuit of fostering their talents and interests, developing their creativity can sometimes be neglected. However, creativity is a valued virtue that should not be overlooked or undermined. Possessing traits of creativity offers your child the ability to connect multiple perspectives and integrate them to solve problems or generate new ideas. Thankfully, there are plenty of things parents can do to encourage your child’s creativity. Read on to uncover helpful tips in this parenting guide on how to nurture a child’s creative mind.
1. Encouraging Problem-Solving Through Multiple Ways
Creative thinking lies at the core of problem solving. It is the ability to identify different solutions for a problem, and come up with new ideas. This is also known as fluent thinking or the ability to generate or brainstorm ideas seamlessly. Possessing a creative mind translates to a readiness to take risks, to experiment, and make mistakes. So instead of asking your child close-ended questions, one parenting tip we have is to present them with open-ended questions such as:
- imagine all the different ways to arrive home from school
- list everything you can think of that’s blue.
- describe all the things you can make from plastic bags or empty water bottles
These questions train them to realise there is more than one possible answer and look at problems from different perspectives. This hones their ability to be innovative in coming up with multiple ways to tackle problems and will stand them in good stead for future success. Per The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 report by Pearson, fluent thinking is highly sought after by employers when recruiting new hires.
2. Trigger And Reward Their Curiousity
Curiosity can provide the building blocks for creative thinking. The thirst for knowledge drives a child to seek out, ask questions and experiment. This is essential to developing a creative mind because learning about a wide range of topics empowers your child to connect what they have learnt to come up with creative solutions. Parents can also trigger their children’s curiosity with a simple parenting tip – ask them questions about the world around them. Encourage your child’s curiosity by rewarding them when they know the answers, in the form of their favourite treats or toys. Associating the acquisition of new knowledge with the feeling of reward is also backed up by scientific research. Research has shown that the feeling of reward reinforces the value of discovering something new and motivates further information seeking behaviour.
3. Encouraging Reading
Spark your child’s creativity by exposing them to reading at a young age. This is one of the best parenting tips to foster their imagination because it introduces them to new places, topics and concepts outside of their daily lives. When your child reads widely, their knowledge expands exponentially. This enables them to be open to new ideas and adapt what they have learned to create new ways of doing things.
If you are searching for some tips for books your child should read, here are some recommendations:
- How-to books are great for providing your child with inspiration on how to create different things
- Reading fiction trains your brain to fantasise and use your imagination in real life
4. Providing Free Time And Space For Creative Active Exploration
Contrary to what many parents believe, packing your child’s day with activities may not actually be beneficial for them. This is especially true, when it comes to nurturing their creativity. For children, there is value in having free time and space to themselves, even if they end up getting bored. This is because out of boredom grows creativity and innovation. When faced with boredom, children get the opportunity to practise making decisions about what to do, how to plan their time and learn how to create fun activities from nothing. Idle time actually boosts your child’s creativity because it affords them the space to let their creative thoughts flow in ways that are not possible when they are fully engaged in activities. Some parenting tips to leave your child with free time for creative exploration include:
- Provide openings for unplanned time once a week, if not once a month and give your child space to decide what he or she would like to do.
- Make materials such as dress-up materials, supplies and more available for instances when your child is bored. Doing so offers the opportunity for creativity when boredom occurs.
Nurture Your Child’s Creative Mind With MindSpace
Aside from these tips, it is also important to look for after school student care services that encourage your child’s creativity in the times when you are at work and unable to be with your child. MindSpace is a leading student care centre in Singapore that seeks to equip every child with a Champion Mindset to unlock the full potential of each child. The Champion Mindset is based on the 3-minds approach focused on developing the Champion Mind, the Learning Mind and the Creative Mind in every child. With a wealth of experience in nurturing a child’s creative mind, MindSpace is the answer to boosting your child’s creativity. Book a visit to our centre to find out more now.