Encourage Creative Thinking

It was thought that children are either born creative or they are not. However, that is a thing of the past. After many years, researchers and educators have agreed that creativity can be something nurtured and developed rather than just something you are born with. it’s also believed that developing one’s creative skills is one of the most important focuses a teacher should have in the classroom.

This may be also why after years of traditional and rigid school methods which may suppress a child’s creative thinking, many are now more open to newer approaches. Inquiry-based approaches are among the most focused on today as well as those that encourage students to be more independent and think creatively.

However, this isn’t just the job alone of the teachers in school. In shaping the minds of the youth, it’s also important for them to get the follow-through of the education they receive in schools. And what better place for them to receive this than in their homes? As parents, you can also take part in encouraging creative thinking in your child at home. Here are some ways for you to do that.

1. Support their creativity

To make sure that the child can explore and expand their creativity and imagination, they should be able to do this comfortably. If they feel that their creativity isn’t welcome, they may be more hesitant to develop it. As parents, there are many ways for you to show and create a supportive atmosphere inside the home to encourage the child’s creative thinking skills. You can perhaps allow them independent playtime or fill up their days with new activities that may spark their creativity. You can take them to nearby parks or trails for a hike and let them watch the sceneries. As such, parents may also avoid enrolling them in too many structured activities outside of school. It also helps if the activities they are engaged in aren’t spent around electronic devices that can take the time off their hands.

2. Encourage their curiosity

If the child shows signs of interest in a specific topic, parents can also expose them to similar experiences or those relating to their topic of interest. For example, if the child has taken a liking to history, parents can also take them to museums or the local library to learn more about the topic. Parents can also encourage their child’s curiosity by helping them look up articles or videos about the particular historical moment their child is interested in. Aside from helping your child get more knowledge and answers on the area they are interested in, it can also be used as a bonding moment for you and a chance to create more happy memories together.

3. Give opportunities for creative pursuits

In our article about finding and nurturing your child’s passions, we’ve iterated that children should be given the chance to explore their own passions and interests. They should be able to do this independently and choose which they are interested in without any external factors driving them. Exposing them to different experiences can be time-consuming but it will also help your child in actually choosing the passion they are interested in rather than rushing them through it.

Giving them opportunities to enjoy and experience different creative pursuits also happen to do the same trick. Parents can help their child enrich their creative thinking by having them experience creative activities firsthand such as playing instruments, pottery, or art classes.

4. Lead by example

Children naturally imitate what they see often and if you want to nurture your child’s creative thinking, you can also lead by example and participate in creative activities with your child. There are many things you can try together with your child. You can plan to make with your child and have them decorate the pastries together or you can even start drawing with your child. These activities will help your child see how creativity works and how to cultivate it to become better. They have to understand that creativity is enriched when it is used often. As such, this can also serve as bonding moments for you and your child. Aside from cultivating creative thinking together, you can also observe more what your child’s interests and passions are and use those observations to make sure they get the help they need for the future. If you are having trouble selecting the activities to do with your child, you can try using DIY (Do-It-Yourself) kits with your child. There are many available in the market or you can look up DIY activities on the Internet that may only use those already available around the household.

5. Avoid judging and harsh criticism

It’s not a totally unheard-of scenario. There may be a time when your child comes up with an over-the-top and seemingly outlandish idea for an invention or a solution for a problem. When this happens, no matter how bizarre it may seem, avoid making them feel like they and their idea are inferior. Parents may laugh or brush off their ideas for being too unrealistic, however, this will only make them feel bad. It can even be one of the causes why they may not speak out or talk about any new ideas they may come up with in fear of being shut down. Instead of judging their ideas, encourage them to realize their ideas and even test out ways to find out how to make this happen in reality. Something peculiar ideas can be the foundation of actual, innovative ideas once they are shaped and developed more.

6. Let them ask questions

We understand that parenting can sometimes become exhausting, especially with the endless questions from your children thrown your way. However, this is pretty normal as the child is starting to become more aware and curious of the world around them. While this may be a huge test on a parent’s patience, and even their ability to answer these questions, parents should still continue to encourage their children to ask them. Inquisitiveness is encouraged as one of the most effective ways for children to learn about their surroundings. As such, when they ask questions and they get an answer or even just an acknowledgment, they will know that their questions, concerns, and feelings about something in particular, are valid. Additionally, when they are encouraged to ask questions and get thoughtful responses, they will be more inclined to ask more questions and uncover the world around them further.

7. Encourage perseverance

We’ve all been there. There will come a time wherein creative thinking can be a challenge. There may come a time when your child has an idea for a painting they desperately want to make, but it can be difficult for them to get the idea they have on paper or canvas. However, giving up will not help enhance their creative thinking skills. Instead of telling them to give up or try again later, parents can encourage them to work through their frustrations instead. For example, if they are stuck on a story they are writing, parents can suggest they take a breather or a walk around to get the ideas flowing back again. Another option would be to write about what happens next and go back to what they were stuck in later. Instead of abandoning their work, parents can help in encouraging them to finish working on it whether it turns out the way they wanted it or not.

8. Explore different cultural experiences

Exploring different cultures and traditions not only develops a child’s social awareness but they are also encouraged to become more open-minded in the different unfamiliar ideas. They will also be more used to and respecting certain ideas that relate to other cultures. This will also spark their creativity and help them when they are in a slump or trying to tie their ideas together. There are many ways to enjoy and teach your child about different cultures such as visiting museums or attending a cultural festival. You can even do so by having a meal with them in an authentic restaurant. However, more than exploring these different cultures, parents should also not forget to remind and instill in their children the importance of respecting these cultures.

9. Discuss interconnected concepts

Students often learn about different subjects separately. Science class is strictly focused on scientific topics and the same can be said with Math classes, wherein it’s more focused on arithmetic. However, these ideas and subjects can be related and connected with each other. You can discuss with your child the life cycle of plants while also discussing organic produce grown by local farmers. You can also discuss with the child about multiplication while also discussing the supply and demand they see in local supermarkets. This will help your child realize that creative thinking doesn’t have to be restrictive to one concept or idea. They can explore those ideas and relate them to others as well.

10. Discover their learning style

Every child learns differently. Some learn best by one method whereas others learn better by one or more methods. When parents know and understand which learning style fits their child best, they can plan ahead of the experiences that will engage their creativity better and help them retain the information they receive.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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