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10 Ways to Raise a Creative Child


Many parents hope for their children grow to be artistic and talented. Even if you don't feel particularly creative yourself, it's easy to help your child grow up to be creative.

We've got some tips to help you nurture the confidence and skills from which creativity will flow.

1. Make Your Own Books

a book filled with colorful paper

A trip to the library or book store will show you there are literally thousands of stories that have already been told, so why not create your own? With some construction paper and crayons you can help your child spin her own tale.

2. Encourage Unexpected Choices

a young girl doing some painting

Making brown cows, green grass, and staying inside the lines is all so boring and typical. When your little one grabs purple to color in the sky, tell him what a great choice he made. Letting him know you appreciate his offbeat choices will help him feel secure in his unique choices.

3. Encourage Inquisitiveness

a young boy playing with a magnifying glass

OK, it can be a little irritating when your child asks, "why?!" for the 10,000th time, but whenever you can, let him be free to question everything. Give him the chance to safely explore his surroundings and make new connections without limiting his freedom. Understanding his environment and knowing how things fit together will help him have a great foundation to let his creativity grow from.

4. Discover New Uses for Old Items

a small milk carton

Show your child that it's fun to find new uses for old things. Instead of throwing out crib sheets, make a cape or tunic. Empty milk cartons and some dried beans can make a fun instrument. Anything you can spare can become something else when your child's imagination is put to work.

5. Spend Time in Nature

a young girl at a pond pushing out a paper boat

Let your child explore textures, shapes, and colors outside. Spend an hour on the ground picking out shapes in the clouds, or dig in the sand to find special rocks. Observing the world will give your child a well of information to draw from.

6. Praise the Unique

a red pencil in the middle of a bunch of grey pencils

Children inevitably go through phases of classifying things that are alike and things that are different. When the opportunity comes up, take the time to explain how fun it is that there are so many ways to be, and that being different is actually kind of wonderful.

7. Listen to Music

a young girl singing into a microphone

Make music part of your daily life. Rhythm, harmony, and melody will make your child move and will capture her imagination. Let her wiggle, dance, and jump. Make up silly lyrics with her, and encourage her to write songs of her own.

8. Act Out Fairy Tales

a young girl dressed up as a superhero

Instead of just reading a book, act it out. A construction paper cone and a bed sheet can transform you into a princess while a metal bowl on your head and a broom horse can make you a knight. Defeat dragons and go on magical adventures while tapping into your child's imagination.

9. Instill Him with Confidence

a young boy hugging his mom

Praise your child's creativity whenever you can. Every child wants to be told he's awesome, so don't hold back when he does something fun, exciting, or new. Letting him know he's kind of amazing will help give him the confidence to be creative without fear.

10. Be a Creative Role Model

a young girl playing with some paints with her mom

Children learn from watching us, so be good to yourself, too. It's easy to get discouraged and tell your child, "I'm no good at drawing," or, "I'm not artistic." Hold the negativity and just enjoy spending time with your little one. You don't have to pretend you're a DaVinci, but showing her it's OK to not be perfect will help them to live without creative limits.

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