10 ways to develop creativity in your preschooler

January 31, 2016
  • 1. Provide lots of stimulation
    1 / 10 1. Provide lots of stimulation

    No matter how creative your preschooler is, she benefits from opportunities to be creative.

    That’s why it makes sense to give her lots of building materials, arts and craft materials and musical instruments.

    And any sort of toy that lets her examine, explore, discover and experiment.

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  • 2. Praise her imaginative efforts
    2 / 10 2. Praise her imaginative efforts

    Your kid needs plenty of reassurance and praise in order to continue with her creative efforts.

    If she thinks you are unimpressed or perhaps, even that you disapprove of her original ideas, then she is hardly likely to persist with these sorts of activities.

    If you can, display her creations somewhere at home.

    Related: Creativity: why kids need it and 3 ways to start

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  • 3. Use “creative” questions
    3 / 10 3. Use “creative” questions

    Part of creativity involves looking at old situations in new ways, with fresh eyes.

    For example, you can ask her, “Will you show me all the different ways you can play with this toy?”

    Or ask her, “What would happen if water stopped pouring from the tap?”

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  • 4. Interesting, not wrong
    4 / 10 4. Interesting, not wrong

    One of the barriers creative children often experience is that their behaviour, questions, actions and answers may not fit into people’s typical expectations.

    And hence, they may be judged to be “wrong”.

    Yet, in many instances, it is more helpful to consider such responses as “interesting”.

    Consider your own reactions carefully.

    Related: Nurturing bilingualism and creativity

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  • 5. Identify talents
    5 / 10 5. Identify talents

    Pay close attention to your child’s natural abilities.

    Whether in the area of music and sound, drawing and painting or sports and movement.

    These may emerge early on in your child’s life.

    And early nurturing of natural abilities promotes her full potential.

    You can guide your kid into suitable activities to develop her skills.

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  • 6. Don’t push
    6 / 10 6. Don’t push

    It is not enough for her to have creative ability – she also has to enjoy using that talent.

    Pushing her too hard into creative activities can depress those innate abilities.

    She needs to have enthusiasm, not stress.

    Related: 4 ways to help your kid think creatively

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  • 7. Show by example
    7 / 10 7. Show by example

    Your kid learns a great deal from watching and imitating you.

    Whatever your creative interests, share them with your growing child.

    So that she just accepts creativity as part and parcel of everyday life.

    Your enthusiasm will be infectious.

    If possible, try to involve her to some extent in the activity, too.

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  • 8. Encourage free play
    8 / 10 8. Encourage free play

    Free-play episodes allow her to develop new ideas without any constraints (except those of safety).

    It is unlike more structured creative activities, which suggest the direction of her creative expression.

    Free-play has no barriers or limits, and lets her give full flight to her imagination.

    Related: 5 ways to help my child play better

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  • 9. Develop perseverance
    9 / 10 9. Develop perseverance

    Creative solutions don’t always appear in a flash.

    Often they result from months of thinking and experimenting.

    With many mini-successes and mini-failures along the way.

    Encourage your four-year-old to persevere with a challenge that is demanding until she finally reaches that elusive creative answer.

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  • 10. Accept her individuality
    10 / 10 10. Accept her individuality

    As well as taking delight in your child’s creative skills, make sure that you also take delight in her when you discover her creative limits.

    Accept her for who she is, not how well she compares to her peers.

    Or how much she fulfils your fantasies and expectations.

    (Photos: 123RF.com) 

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