Get Crafty with the Kids
Getting your child involved in arts and crafts is not only fun but also great for their development in many ways. Creativity allows for the development of mental, social, physical and emotional skills. It can also help children to learn how to analyse and problem-solve, as well as fostering a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Here are some great ways to encourage creativity:
It’s OK to Get Messy
Set aside a space at home where you don’t mind your child making a mess. With as little restriction as possible, your child will feel free to experiment. You might want to put down some old newspaper or a cloth or even use a space outside, in the conservatory or garage for your arty fun. It often goes against the grain to allow children to get messy but it’s part of the important creative process.
Don’t Tell Them What to Do
There’s a fine line between helpful guidance and telling your child how to do something. Try to say as little as possible about how they should do something and let them get on with it. You can encourage them to try different methods, materials and equipment and offer advice but try to avoid the temptation to take over. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to be theirs.
Instead of simply praising anything they produce, ask them specific questions to allow them to analyse what they’ve produced. Ask them why they’ve used a certain colour or material and what effect does it have, for example. This is a great way to get them thinking about their choices and to inspire trying other colours or materials. Ask them to explain the process they went through to make their creation and whether they had fun doing it.
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Introduce New Elements
Why not pique their creative curiosity by introducing new materials into their art collection? Go for a walk and collect some sticks, stones, pine cones, leaves or shells and offer a blank canvas on which to design something using these natural materials. Even household objects can be used for this purpose, such as bottle tops, corks, sponges, shaving foam, vegetable slices and pieces of cardboard. Once you start looking around, there are numerous ways to get creative with the things you have around you.