A Few Steps to Inspire Creativity and Imagination in Your Children
Growing up in today’s hustle and bustle, it is very easy to raise children who lack in creativity and imagination. They have technology to dive into, social media to keep up with, and video games/TV with an already built fantasy for them.
This lack of imagination can hurt their social lives, their school work, and even their career choices in the future. Many of these things require critical thinking abilities which stems from being able to be creative.
But it’s not too late to start helping them to develop! Don’t despair! There are a few things you can do right now to begin to get their mind functioning again!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those anti-technology junkies. I mean, I’m obviously using a computer right now. Even further, I’m a straight techie nerd who loves his video games. However, there comes a point where you have to prevent it from completely consuming you. Social media can swallow you whole. Video games now aren’t like the arcade games of old. They have to be played weeks on end to get anywhere. Developers go through hoops to get you attached. Netflix has opened the world up to binge watching show after show.
Take an hour or two everyday to begin with, and unplug everything. If you have a small child, they will emote, then carry on. If you have a teen, they will emote, and brood. The teen will have more trouble getting out of their rut. But doing this on a daily basis gives their mind time to roam, and they will eventually find something to fill that void. That’s getting the old problem solving juices flowing! How to not be bored: Brain storm! Little ones will be faster at this. They will find their toys, their crayons, or ask you thousands of questions. They refuse to be bored. That’s a good thing!
Children from age 1-18 (up to age 145) love playing with art. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with them. Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to be one of those awesome Pinterest parents. That actually defeats the point of this exercise. Take time to color in books with your wee ones. If they are old enough, you can purchase a set of canvas boards for around $5, and acrylics for 50 cents each. Paint whatever comes to your mind. My dining room is full of paintings that we have all painted over time. None of them are Picaso’s, and the youngest usually just created a large brown smear. We hang them all anyway to fuel their creativity. You can do simple things, or even purchase craft kits from the store. It doesn’t have to be extravagant.
This goes right along with unplugging, but on a new level. Nature is there for us to wonder and have awe. It sparks our curiosity. It makes us ask questions. Even the most city person there is loves aspects in nature. Do something small, and start a garden with your children. Grow a houseplant. Or even grow something that will supply food. When they begin to grow, point details out to them. I have some maple trees in a pot in my back yard. My son is all city, but I told him those trees were his. And when they get big enough, we’ll turn them into Bonsai. He looks at them on a daily basis. He notices the colors, and reports to me anytime he sees growth. My child, who is almost impossible to unplug, stops everything for a couple of trees.
Don’t have the patience for a plant? I understand. Some of them are like having another baby in the house. Take a hike instead. See what things nature is growing on her own. Listen to animals, and try to guess what they are, or what they are doing. Make a day out of it with a camping trip. The kids will complain, but if you are excited about it (even if you are just pretending), they will come around.
**Warning, this segment contains affiliate links.**
Every week night, now that school has started, I give my children a topic to write on. They are required to write a full page. Now, they moan and groan, but it gets accomplished. It isn’t always fun. Not every child will love being a writer. However, it is an important skill for everyone to establish. It’s nearly impossible to develop it once you’re already an adult (nearly).
Inspire creativity by purchasing a journal for your child. Younger children will take to it faster. Set up some guidelines. Tell them you won’t read it. You won’t check for spelling and grammar. The journal is just their creative outlet. You will offer a prompt or topic, and they will fill their page with whatever they see fit to fill in that subject matter. Personally, I have my children write prayers because I want to build on their spirituality as well as their creativity.
Your choices are endless. Have them write short stories. Have them write opinions on topics. Simply have them treat it if it were a diary. “Would you rather…” is another fun way to get their juices flowing in journal form.
My oldest daughter absolutely loves to journal. When it comes time for our nightly journal, she is raring to go. She fills up a page in beautiful script as if she were a professional. She’s only 10.
A company approached me with an offer. They had a group of items for me to choose from under the label of, “Great Gifts for Your Little Girl!” The items ranged from costume jewelry, Shopkins stickers and… *GASP* a diary! The choice was obvious.
Now here’s the affiliate portion of the blog, but I promise I will keep it honest.
I received the Diary in the mail today in a manila package. All my kids gathered around because.. well duh.. a package. I knew what it was, but I hadn’t told them.
Pulling out the Diary, I exclaimed, “See, aren’t you glad your dad is a blogger!”
My daughters both were eyeing the pink book I had in my hand. I knew who I chose it for, but I had to think fast. Luckily, I had also signed up to do a review of another SmitCo item , Body Scrubbing & Exfoliating Gloves. My younger daughter loves to bath. She got the gloves, and headed straight for the tub.
This was the very first time I had ever received an item to review, so I had low expectations. I thought they would send me a low quality product like those breakable things you purchase at a dollar shop.
The diary is surprisingly a nice quality. It came as a hardback loaded with 300 pages of lined paper to fill. The design on the front and back is edgy and high fashion. It’s perfect for a prissy girl. There is actually a bow and crown that are added on top, and not printed in to give it more of a finished touch.
This diary comes with a paddle lock system to keep out nosy brothers. Now, I told you I was going to be honest. The little lock that comes with it is more cheaply made. It could be cut off by a crafty sibling pretty easily. It’s made from what feels like a solid aluminum with a plastic casing. The two included keys are simple in design, and wiggle inside the lock. All that being said, it still does it’s job as a children’s item.
Once into the diary, she wrote for the entire day. She even placed a few sketches in it. I can see that this item will be cherished for months to come with her… Unless she gets way too crazy with her writing.
With this one gift from SmitCo, I’m pretty certain that they offer affordable gifts for girls that are usable, lovable, and enjoyable. This one purchase made me able to look like a thoughtful father for my 10 year old, and with all the other possible choices I could have chosen, I may be able to be a thoughtful father for years to come.
I have placed an amazon link directly below to the item I purchased. You will be able to find some other of their items by simply typing “SmitCo” in the Amazon search bar, you will not be disappointed.