“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” - Albert Einstein
To begin to define creativity isn’t easy. And especially when it comes to children, we all understand they’re naturally curious, creative and think originally if not told otherwise. So when we think of boosting creative confidence in young minds, we’re often in a fix and don’t know where to begin.
Because the thing is, creativity cannot be taught to anyone, but can only be encouraged and nourished. Especially when it comes to children, the best thing we can do as parents and caregivers is to develop an environment that allows children to be themselves, and hence, creative.
Another fact is that creativity is also not limited to artistic feats only. Creativity is simply making new connections with information already available. So allowing your children to be creative is just nourishing an environment that allows them to problem solve using techniques that they are free to think about. Where there’s no right or wrong way to do it, but only to solve the problem at hand. The process can help make them better thinkers, mentally flexible and creative thinkers as a whole.
Allow them free time and the luxury of being bored
Creativity is not something that can have a set time or a place or a situation. It’s a muse that comes by unannounced. And to invite it into your child’s mind, they have to embrace freedom and the luxury of being bored. Boredom is the best kind of gateway to let creativity enter.
“Boredom has the ability to enable our creative thinking by moving us into a state of daydream, which then allows our minds to wander and create without distractions.” - insideoutside
So when your children are bored, one of the best parenting tips is to let them sit and daydream instead of telling them to go study, or find a friend to play with, or get stuck to a screen. When the brain will be devoid of stimulation there will be room for creativity and new ways to get rid of boredom. And the more times they do this, the more confidence they will gain on how and when to get their creative tools out to use time instead of simply passing it.
Play time is important for creative thinking
Another very important way to foster creative confidence in your child will be to let them play. So the best advice on parenting you can get is to understand that the right kind of play is of course important too. Buy them educational toys that are fun, and yet encourage learning and stimulate the mind. This way, your child will understand the importance of having fun while learning, and hence making room for more creativity both in work and play. This skill can go a long way in your child’s life to pursue any passion. It's important that they are serious about it, but it’s also important that they have fun and love doing whatever they set their minds to.
Encourage the idea that the end result doesn’t matter
An important thing to keep in mind, both for yourself and for your child while engaging in any creative activity is that the result doesn’t matter. The finished product is not important, only the process is and how they have fun with it when it comes to creativity. For example, when playing with children’s educational toys that allows the process of building the toy before playing with it, it’s important to have fun rather than constantly trying to get it right. Too much focus on the end product can hamper your child’s creative confidence. If they pursue the process and its learnings, the end product will somehow make sense on its own. And the learning and unlearning during the creative process is all that matters to foster creative confidence in young minds.
Expose them to new environments and new materials
Creativity, in the simplest terms means making new connections with information that is already there in the brain. So the best way to foster creative confidence in your children will be to expose them to environments that nourish this way of thinking and making new connections with materials and information that are already available. Buy them learning toys, take them to exhibitions, museums, libraries, good movies, theater, music performances, and don’t limit them to one kind of thinking. Open them to the many creative possibilities that exist in this world and let them be inspired!
And when at home, let the world be their playground. In a child’s world, anything and everything can be something they could experiment with, and with the right tools and materials (with your help and careful placement around the house,) their creative confidence will always be nourished by using new things in innovative ways.
There’s no better way to foster creative confidence and nourish your child’s imagination than introducing them to the world of literature. To read, your child will have to imagine and create their own worlds in their head, with the help of accomplished writers. There’s really no way out. So pick out a bunch of well written books for children that inspire them, let them daydream, and let them learn, all at once and let your child cultivate the habit of reading for pleasure.
Allow them to create whatever they wish to
Another thing to be mindful of when looking to foster your child’s creative confidence is to allow them to be free in their creative process. If it’s a drawing they’re making, and that inspires them to maybe go build a lego tower, allow them to do so! Let one thing inspire another, even if they leave something unfinished. It’s their age to be fickle and to pick up and leave things in the middle and experiment and innovate and most importantly, have fun in whatever they’re trying to accomplish.
Encourage them to be creative together with their friends
Last but not least, build an environment that allows them to be creative with their friends, in groups. The more they practice creativity, individually and with others around them, the more creative confidence they will build within themselves and others too! So if your child’s friends are coming over for a movie night, make sure the morning is filled with colors, art, music, or even re-enact the movie they watched at night so they learn how to have fun with each other and themselves even when their minds are not externally stimulated!