Wondering how you can support your child with their creative endeavours and boost their problem solving skills, increase their imagination and help them learn? Brilliant! You’re in the right place. Here are lots of easy ways you can do just that:
Encourage your children to think for themselves
Start by remembering, getting creative is supposed to be fun! There are no rules! Let your young artists think for themselves – even if their thought processes don’t make sense to you. Let them use materials in strange ways and go off brief if they want to. Creativity offers an opportunity for our kids to be free and express themselves.
Use open ended questions
As your children try to solve problems through creativity, ask them open ended questions to get them thinking (Why? What? How? Where?). The more opportunities you can give them to think for themselves and have permission to come up with their own solutions, the more confidence they’ll gain.
Resist the urge to take over…
When our children look like they’re struggling, or they’re taking a long time to complete something we consider to be a simple task, it’s easy to step in and get it done for them. Try to resist the urge to do this. There’s no rush. If they really need help, they’ll ask. Even then, if appropriate, take the opportunity to teach them how to do it themselves next time.
If your child is really stuck and getting frustrated, give them a gentle nudge with things like: “How about we try…” or “Would it work if we did this?”.
Be specific with praise
If you think your child is doing a brilliant job, tell them! But be specific. Praise is more valuable when you recognise your child’s efforts as opposed to throwing out a generic remark. For example, instead of ‘Great job’ say something like ‘I love the way you’ve used that colour/material/technique’ or ‘Wow look at how hard you’re concentrating’.
Think of yourself as a technician
At Oglee Poglee events, we often refer to the parents as creative technicians. Your job is to be there as an encouragement and hold the scissors and glue! Our kids love it when we get involved and help, but it’s important we’re helping at the right things if we really want our children to get the most out of their creative time.
Try creating alongside them
When your child is in their creative flow, you can leave them to it but use the time to bond by creating your own masterpiece alongside them. You don’t need to be an artist, play with materials just as your kids do – you may be surprised at how relaxing it is, or uncover a new skill of your own!
Don’t worry about the end results
Whether it’s their work or your own, the main benefits of creativity come from the creation process itself; try not to worry too much about whether you think the end result ‘looks good’. Don’t forget, art is subjective… there really is no right or wrong with creativity. Simply have fun and enjoy the learning that happens naturally along the way!
Ask your child to talk through their creation
Don’t let the fun stop when the paints are put away; at the end of your creative session it’s a wonderful chance to learn more about your little artists and how they think. Ask your child to talk through their work. What is it? How did they create that effect? Which was the hardest part to complete? Often there’s a brilliant story behind each drawing and invention. Allowing them the chance to share, it is great for boosting their self-esteem and showing you value their efforts.
Ready to get creative with your children? Take a look at our new Creative Heroes Club challenge downloads full of exciting creative opportunities. Download a challenge to discover a new mission to save Oglee Pip through creativity and amazing inventions – expect family bonding and lots of learning.