5 Ways you can Use Toys to Foster your Child to be a Creative Genius
Parents go to the toy store with the hope of getting toys that can kindle their children’s creativity. Despite their labels saying they can help with the creativity process, some parents find that their promises aren’t true. We might think that the toy company doesn’t deliver their company. Nevertheless, there’s only so much a toy company can do to nurture creativity. Parents play the major role in cultivating creativity in their children.
We looked into some articles and came up with several methods to foster creativity in your children.
- 1. Provide resources needed for creative expression
Creativity, like any other processes, has its own recipe and ingredients. Parents need to put in some investments for their children. First, is to provide ample time for them to play alone. Notwithstanding the necessity for parents to spend some playing time with their children, alone time is when children enjoy being themselves. Second, you have to buy necessary equipments for them such as art supplies and toys. The materials of different shapes and colours are important to stimulate the children’s imagination. Third, providing ample space for your children to play benefits you and your children simultaneously. While they have their own space to explore and manipulate ideas with their toys, you can limit the mess they make to only one room rather than the whole house.
2. Give children a deserving amount of freedom and autonomy to explore ideas and to do what they want
Giving children the liberty to make choices as they grow up is proven to ameliorate children’s cognitive and moral growth (Grossman, Earlychildhood News). Remember, autonomy here is not giving the child permission to do what they want, but a sense of autonomy is for children to be able to explore freely with stipulated boundaries (Dr Nicholas Jenner). You can let your children pick which toy they want to play or which fairy tales are you going to use for a role play on that particular day. For example, if your child wants to build a horse using fischer TiP, you can use the horse later for a Rapunzel role play. Be creative with your children’s choice. Creative parents lead to creative children. Children who are given choices will develop higher self-esteem and a sense of responsibility.
Image via https://southwestdomestics.org/
3. Challenge your children by setting rules
Children’s attention span is short. When they find the things they do bore them, they would divert their attention to more interesting things. Thus, capture your children’s attention by setting interesting rules. However, keep in mind that in order for rules to be effective for children, you have to follow the 5 C’s of Effective Discipline Setting Rules for Children by Psych Central namely clarity, consistency, communication, caring and create. “I just want my children to have fun.” Fret not, you can discipline your kids and let them have fun at the same time. For example, on your next play session, challenge your children to build a castle with 30 fischer TiPs. See the outcome and tweak the rules to have a better experience on your next play sessions. Try it, it’s possible!
4. Ask open-ended questions to your children
What are open-ended questions? They are questions that have no right or wrong answers. Why is it important to ask your children this type of question? It can improve their language skills by expanding their vocabulary and varying their language styles and gives the children opportunity to express their ideas, motives and feelings. Open-ended questions are able to stretch the children’s understanding of certain things, making them mature and help them postulate ideas, making them creative (Columbus Parents). Asking questions such as what if things that happen in this particular manner happened in some other manners or what would you do to make some things better. For instance, during playtime, ask them “What if this structure is to fall down? What would you with the fischer TiPs to make it more stable?”. Those are the type of open-ended questions that will trigger their analytical part of their brain.
5. Engage in storytelling
I have a 5-year-old cousin who likes storytelling more than the next boy. It is a routine for him to listen to stories before his bedtime. While telling him stories, he would interrupt me by changing the storyline with his imagination. Although challenging, on the plus side, I learn to be creative too. As parents, you can use this situation to leverage your children’s creativity. Let your children tell their own version of fairy tales and use fischer TiP to build a setting for their story. Maybe their versions are better than the storybooks!
Some parents might think that getting their children involved in a creative process is challenging and being creative is far fetched. The tip is, to not straight away aim for the big things. A change doesn’t happen overnight. A relentless effort is much needed to keep the creative process going. Remember that small but consistent efforts can go a long way. You cannot expect your children to play molding clay today and be an engineer tomorrow. Creativity is a slow process, but it is significant and substantial. You might also want to check out this relevant article for some ideas on “Effective Discipline Strategies For Children“.
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