Do you want to know why you should encourage your child to be creative? When your child is creating, they are learning. They are learning without even knowing they are learning. Simply put, creative activities advance your child's development in leaps and bounds and teaches them to think outside the box.
Creative children become the sought after creative problem solvers of the future.
You can encourage your child to be creative by providing them with opportunities to explore and use their imagination to come up with new ideas.
I wrote a detailed post giving 14 reasons why you should nurture creativity in your child and how it aids their development. If you haven't read that then I highly encourage you to go and take a look at that too.
As a quick reference, here are just some of the reasons why you should encourage your child to be creative.
Reasons you should encourage your child to be creative
Develops fine motor skills
Teaches how to plan
Teaches goal setting
Helps them become decision makers
Helps them become problem solvers
Makes creative thinkers
Creates positive learning experiences
Teaches simple math
Creates a special bonding experience
Helps them cope with feelings
Teaches them to evaluate
Keeps the brain active
Wow! So many reasons you should encourage your child to be creative! It's literally passive learning too – Your child will soak up information, knowledge and important life skills without even realising they are learning. What could be more wonderful than that?
As I said, I wrote about all of this extensively in a separate blog post so if you want to know more (and why wouldn't you) go and read that to find out why you should encourage your child to be creative.
OK, now you know why you should encourage your child to be creative. Here are few of the items which I have found particularly useful and which have sparked the creative bug in our two boys!
You can also just keep a set of old clothes for this instead but for some kids, just putting on the crafting apron already gets them in the creative spirit i.e. magic is about to happen!
One of the least expensive but also one of the best. With some paper and pencils, your child's imagination holds no bounds. Buy a larger set if you can so that your child can see that colours have many varying hues. | USA | D | UK |
This is something for older children and only under supervision. The glue gets really hot and can burn if dropped on the skin. That said, this is the one tool that we could never have done without. We have completed so many wonderful projects using one of these. In fact, I used ours just the other day to make these coasters and it's still the same one that I used when the boys were small – how's that for value for money? They are inexpensive and you can buy boxes of wax refills separately. Another great thing about a glue gun is that you can buy coloured wax sticks which can be used for stamping too. Glue Gun | Coloured wax
The bead set I'm linking to here is for girls really but that's not to say that boys don't enjoy threading beads too. This activity is fantastic for honing dexterity and fine motor skills and your child will also be able to proudly wear the jewellery they've created. Our boys loved to make Christmas decorations with beads and then each year when we pulled out the box of tree decorations, they would search for the beaded stars they had made and proudly hang them on the tree.
Washable non-toxic glue
Well, the description says it all already!
USA - My Choice
UK - My Choice
D - My Choice
An absolute must-have item. Cutting with scissors is a fantastic way of schooling fine motor skills and dexterity. Let your child make a collage from photos found in newspapers or magazine or cut out patterns and pictures for their next project.
This is sometimes easier to use if your child's project involves cutting fabric. It's easier to cut straight lines with a rotary cutter but make sure they have a cutting mat underneath the fabric unless you want a shredded table! | USA | D | UK |
See above. You can get all sorts of sizes and colours and some are even 'self-healing' which means you won't see any cut marks in the mat after use. Make sure you check that the mat is going to be the right size for your cutting table I.e. not too big. You also don't want to get one of the really small ones either though because the cutter will easily roll off it on onto your table. | USA| D | UK |
These can be amazingly creative and a wonderful way for your child to document his/her projects. Scrapbooking is a creative experience all of its own and there is no shortage of wonderful Scrapbooking sets that accompany this craft.
Masking tapes are available in a myriad of colours and designs and are just perfect for using in crafts for kids. Even children who don't like colouring can easily design gift cards using tape. I always bought these in sets so that there were so many, there were no arguments over who got the 'best ones'. | USA | D | UK |
Crochet is another craft which schools dexterity and fine motor skills. If I couldn't resist these wonderfully colourful hooks then your child probably won't be able to either. If you're wondering – yes, both my boys learned to crochet although, I can't take the credit for teaching them. They learned this craft in primary school along with the rest of their classmates. | USA | D | UK |
These beautiful threads are bound to spark some interest. Now you just need to find an easy beginner project. Make sure it's something that can be completed quite quickly so that your child has a quick win which will raise their sense of achievement. There is nothing like success to encourage more success! | USA | D | UK |
Playdough is a classic of course. Being one of the messiest crafts, it was always a winner with our boys! I would always protect the table by covering it with a plastic tablecloth first. We had a big tub full of cutters and rollers for making shapes with play dough and I've even been known to make my own 'dough'. I found it usually kept really well in a glass container.
Creativity holds no bounds with this crafting activity.
For older children and teens
You can purchase very low costs 'starter' sewing machines these days and if you are not sure if your child will use the machine enough then these are ideal for starting out. They are also less complicated for younger children to grasp the hang of.
However, if your child is already interested in sewing and you know the machine will get a lot of use, then I would advise you to invest in a more robust model. My sewing machine was passed along to me by an Aunt of mine and it must be over forty years old now. At the time it was bought, it was a top of the range model with all singing and dancing functions and fancy stitch options. The plastic on the machine has yellowed over time but it works just as well today as it must have for my Aunt when she bought it. I tell you this because, if you choose well and buy the best you can afford, you will probably never have to buy another in your lifetime - unless you want to that is!
This is another 'investment' piece and there are various models to choose from. Cricut is the ultimate crafting and cutting tool for older children and teens into adulthood. Seamlessly cut patterns from fabric, paper, balsa wood and leather with just a few clicks. Cricut Maker gives you the freedom to make virtually any DIY project. It cuts hundreds of materials, from the most delicate fabric and paper to matboard and leather. Cut out your own stencils in minutes.
I hope I've inspired you to encourage your child to be creative and to build creative activities into your daily or weekly routine. Whilst you are crafting, your child has your full attention and sees that you enjoy crafting too. You also get to spend some fun one on one time together.
With the right kinds of learning opportunities, anyone can be creative. The trick is, to find an activity in which you know your child is already interested and develop it from there over time.
I hope this guide has helped a little and now there's only one thing left to say.....
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