When my kids were young, the challenge for me wasn’t trying to get them
to be more creative. They had access to all my art supplies and were
constantly creating all kinds of art creations. My issue was where to
store and display, say, a four foot high, blue sculpture made of paper
towel and toilet paper tubes all held together with studiously applied
tiny pieces of masking tape.
Author Whitney Ferre, the founder of the Creative Fitness Center (you might know it from HGTV) takes on this kind of challenge and more in the very good book for parents, 33 Things To Know About Raising Creative Kids. Here, she shares tips that helped encourage her own kids’ innate creativity and some of them are darn good.
Some of the ideas she mentions–building forts, always keeping blank paper around, getting outside, having the kids help in the kitchen and garden–may well be things you’re already doing. But there are also things you might not have thought of, like creating an online site for children to share their art. And asking them questions during your endless afternoon carpooling duties, to help encourage problem solving skills.
Perhaps my favorites of her suggestions are not actual activities for your child but information for the adult to create a thriving, creative environment. Like learning to be aware of your desire to control the situation and directing your child, instead of backing off. The best tip? Never say I’m not creative around your child. Accept your own creativity and grow it. We know you’ve got it too! –Leah