How to Tap Your Child’s Creative Potential
Your toddler has untapped creativity that needs to be honed. It is up to you as parent to awaken their creative imagination, help them make it bloom and enjoy this fun time. Toddlers are a delight as they begin flexing muscles and testing boundaries. At around six months, they become curious about their surroundings, and this is the time that parents need to hone their creativity and imagination.
One effective way to stimulate your child’s creativity is to fill their world with colours and shapes. The possibilities are endless. Here’s how to tap your child’s creative potential.
You can paint the nursery bright, vibrant colours, maybe with shapes, animals, even fun pictures! Have child-friendly rattles or squeakies lying around their room, different shapes and sizes that make different sounds. Colourful mobiles above their beds, bright, interesting bed covers, night clothes, soft music or nursery rhymes played in the background, are all great stimulants.
Finger painting, vegetable painting, general fun with paints is great for kids too, but remember to use nontoxic paints. A suitable environment should be created by playing soft music, spreading out a plastic sheet, bowls, sponges, thick brushes, paints, wet wipes, aprons etc should all be kept ready in advance. The seating should be in a circle to enable the child to be as close to you or your spouse as well as the material.
There’s a variety of creative activities with paints that you can organise, like comb painting, wax painting, magic painting or even newspaper painting with sponges for the very young who wish to dab into paint. It would be safer to do the painting activity under supervision of an adult, making it a family activity. Use of crayons after the age of three is also beneficial. Crayoning on a big surface helps with making large strokes, which later can be controlled by colouring in a smaller area which will help in controlling fine motor skills.
Try Tools and Toys
For creative child development, suggested tools include thick chalk and chalkboards, scribbling with chalk on the floor, building blocks, clay/play dough, puppets, toy instruments, puzzles, threading, beading, sequencing in number and colour. Ceramic and claymoulding too are very beneficial to the child’s creative skills. Apart from provoking their creative imagination, these toys also enhance the memory of your child. They also tend to encourage children to play ‘pretend’. Parents should also play ‘pretend’ with their children. Not only does this work extremely positively in imagination building, but also increases the bond between the two.
You can associate a sound and/or colour with each item. eg. Pool of water-blue-splash! The next step in this activity would be to weave a story around the items, always using the associating sounds and colours. For example, “The grey elephant jumped into the pool of water… splash!” To make it even more interesting you can add building blocks of different shapes and sizes (to represent castles, houses, bridges, etc) to aid your story. This can also be done with a story read from a book. The child can be encouraged to speak about what she has made, as this will enable them to develop their imagination and put it in words.
Puppets, too, are good aids for storytelling. Again, using different modulation of voices and characteristics, you can keep your child fascinated for hours at a stretch. Children should be made to sit in a semi-circle facing the narrator, who can be dressed as one of the characters to enhance the scene. Puppets should be introduced one at a time. It is important to have a re-cap of all the characters introduced, for retention of names and sounds, etc.
Have fun in The Festive Season
Parents can also make an activity calendar, and incorporate different crafts, stories, etc. around the festivals through the year. For example, during Diwali you can make diyas, lanterns, colourful hangings, and narrate the story of how Diwali came about. If the story has a moral, even better! And you can inculcate ethics into the same, like why we should avoid firecrackers which cause air and noise pollution, etc. This is an extremely good way to ensure a well rounded personality, as there is a good mix of activity, craft, fun, colours, tales, morals and ethics.
Take Special Trips Together
As the child grows older, It is better to visit the museum or art gallery, which is wonderful, if done in the right way. These visits need to be made exciting and encourage curiosity that will culturally enrich the child. The regular fun trip are also essential as they will come know about how people live in different parts of the world and even about their cultures.
The possibilities are endless. Parents have countless options, not only to encourage creativity and imagination-building in their child, but also to instill morals and ethics as they go along. Enjoy the experience and let your child have fun too.