Creativity is an essential part of development in children. This refers to cognitive development and is also a way for children to develop motor skills, specifically fine motor skills. Some of the reasons creativity is important in children are using a paintbrush or an instrument to develop talent, experimenting with new materials, and boosting self-confidence from creating new things. Moreover, allowing children to be creative also allows children to be unique and find ways to express themselves. Following this, here are some ways to develop creativity in children:
1. Tolerate Being Messy
Mess isn’t always a bad thing, especially if your child was experimenting with new things like trying different paints, learning a new art form, or the likes. It is encouraged for them to try new things and to allow them to create a mess, especially if it is their first time doing something.
However, for you to allow your child to expand their creativity while maintaining a clean and organized atmosphere, encouraging your child to clean up after themselves is crucial. It also allows the child to be more disciplined and be careful with the mess the next time they try something new.
2. Avoid Making Changes
Correcting your child may often give the impression that you do not like or approve of the artwork that your child is making. The thing with art is that it is usually subjective. Art is one of the most unrestricted forms of expressing yourself, and there are hardly any limitations to what you can do and no definitions as to what is beautiful or not.
As much as possible, please do not make them change their artwork, and instead, compliment your child for the parts of the artwork that you like more. The child will eventually make more drawings or scribbles of the part you prefer the next time your child creates something. Asking them about what specific parts mean will help your child know what to improve without putting pressure on them to change something in the artwork.
3. Expose to Other Forms of Art
Watching stand-up comedy with them, playing musical pieces of several instruments, allowing them to look at a children’s photo book on yawning lemurs, and exposing your child to different dances are ways to indirectly introduce different art forms to children.
However, it is essential to remember not to force them to try the art form. For them to put effort into learning a new art form, they have to be the ones to decide that they want to try it. When they choose what they want, they are more likely to stick to it and put effort into developing their skill.
4. Process over Outcome
Teaching your child to enjoy, take time, and find meaning in creating art over prioritizing the outcome allows your child to enjoy art more. Allowing your child to find peace while playing an instrument or having fun and engaging with others when making a poster will help them express themselves more.
Fixating more on the result often tells the child that you want the project to be done a certain way and made in a specific manner, limiting the child from different forms and approaches to creating something. Allowing them to take time in the process rather than scrutinizing the outcome incentivizes children to get out of their comfort zone and try something new if they are not forced to create an outcome based on their expectations.
5. Display Their Art
Displaying art on the refrigerator, playing your child’s recital, or practicing pieces at home are some examples for you to “display” their art. This gives children the impression that they are proud of their work and appreciate what they have created.
However, one important thing to remember is to avoid comparisons on children’s art regardless of whether they are siblings, classmates, or just some random person you saw on the internet. Displaying art side-by-side or one after another may not always cause your child to compare. However, it is the reactions of others that make them compare the two. Because of this, it is always best not to place works of different people side-by-side, especially if you know that other people may comment on it.
6. Share Excitement
Having a positive outlook on a child’s artwork, recital, or other forms of art allows your child to share the same attitude and enjoy it. Parents who often scold their children for “wasting time” on art discourage them from pursuing their other talents.
Sharing excitement about art should also not be exclusive. All forms of art such as singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or other unconventional art forms should also have equal amounts of excitement to allow your child to choose to pursue whichever art form they prefer. Usually, if a parent shows a preference for one form of art, they are more likely to develop that art form more than the others.