When we talk about creativity, we often talk about it like it’s a talent we’re born with. Either you’re naturally a creative person, or you’re not.
In reality, though, parents can foster their children’s creative thinking abilities at a young age.
While you can’t guarantee that your kid will become the next Picasso, you can give them a leg up later in life by gifting them all the tools they need to think creatively. Activities like art projects, building blocks, and imaginative play can help your children improve their creative thinking skills and illuminate their imaginations.
We created a list of 15 ideas that can help parents to boost child's creative thinking and also spend time with fun!
1. Explore Space
Learning about outer space always captures kids’ imaginations, so incorporating it into creative activities can be a great way to stimulate their creativity while giving them a leg up in science class.
Plus, there are many educational and creative activities that you can do to enhance your child’s love of space.
Some of these activities are pretty simple. You can ask your child to use their imagination to tell you what they think aliens are like, for example, or you can ask them to tell a story about an astronaut who traveled to the Moon.
You can also do more in-depth an artistic activities to encourage your child to learn more about space. Paper mache models of the solar system are a great art project to do with kids, and you can also make models out of styrofoam balls.
Planetariums are another great way to engage your kids with space. Planetariums often host fun movies and activities for kids to learn more about outer space.
Fostering your child’s love of outer space through art and their imagination will help you make your home a more creative environment for your child.
2. Make Gifts
When the holidays roll around, how do you let your kids choose gifts for their relatives?
Do they pick out something small at the store, or do you just include them in a gift that you picked out?
If you’d like to do something different this year, then you can have your kids make gifts for others instead of just buying something from the store. While store-bought gifts from adults and teens are often well-thought-out, kids’ gifts sometimes seem like an afterthought - unless they’re handmade.
Crafting gifts with your kids for them to give to relatives can be a great way to show them the joys of gift giving, and unlike a small trinket or signature on a card, it’s a more personal way for your kids to give thanks to their friends and family.
Small trinkets - like bracelets or ornaments - are great and appropriate projects for kids of all ages, and you have plenty of room to get creative with ideas. You can paint wood ornaments, learn how to braid friendship bracelets, or use make your own snow globe kits to create cute and memorable gifts with your children.
As kids get older, they may want to make for advanced and personalized items for the people they love. They might paint portraits of places that your family enjoys, or they may get into more advanced woodworking, sculpting, or crafting.
Making gifts is a great way to encourage creativity while helping kids develop emotionally.
3. Make Toy Craft Kits with your Kids
Toy craft kits are another great way for you to promote creativity through art.
These kits are perfect ways to allow your child to exercise their creativity while improving their fine motor skills, and as an added bonus, they’ll learn the joys of making something with their own two hands.
Toy craft kits come in all forms. With younger kids, you can make fun simple toys like pinwheels and tops, which are easy to make and customize. You can also do plenty of simple and engaging science and craft kits.
Older kids might enjoy more complex projects. They may want to make their own tea set or doll set, or they might want to make a model ship or train. For kids who are scientifically-inclined, you can get fun chemistry kits or simple machines.
Because there are so many toy craft kits out there, it’s easy to find one that interests your child while being appropriate for their skill level.
For added fun, make a family craft project where all members of your family pitch in. A birdhouse, kids’ table, or other larger craft is a perfect way to create while bonding as a family.
4. Encourage Kids to Use Building Toys
Building toys like blocks or Legos can be great ways for kids to learn basic problem-solving skills and stretch their imaginations.
When playing with building toys with your child, you should allow ample time for free play, but you should also challenge them to build something that they’re interested in. If your 8-year-old loves cars, for example, you could get them a Lego car kit and tell them to build their dream car.
By giving your child an end goal, they will need to think of a plan to build what they want with the materials that they have. This will allow your kid to exercise their problem-solving abilities as they improvise to create the object that they have in mind.
During free play with building toys, your kids will stretch their imaginations as they create objects and play with them. A toddler might enjoy creating a city with blocks and then playing in them with dolls, and older children will enjoy building sets based on their favorite TV and movie characters.
With building toys, you should allow your kids plenty of room for free, imaginative play, but you should also challenge them on occasion to keep them thinking and engaged. In general, these challenges should be open-ended to ensure that your kids are learning how to use their creativity.
Building toys are an excellent way to foster your kids’ creativity in a fun and enjoyable way.
5. Use Apps, Games, and Gadgets
Parents often ask the question - “Is technology limiting creativity?”
There’s no doubt that too much screen time isn’t good for kids. Mindlessly watching TV may be a good way to unwind before bedtime, but it’s no way to spend a day.
However, when used correctly and in moderation, using technology can help to develop kids’ creative thinking skills through apps, games, and gadgets.
Many apps are designed to stimulate kids’ minds and enhance their creative thinking skills. Language apps can help kids begin learning a second language, and mind games apps can help kids develop problem solving skills and fine motor function.
Video games can also help enhance kids’ creative thinking abilities. Contrary to most parents’ expectations, playing video games isn’t all bad news for your child - if you pick games that are stimulating and age-appropriate, they can enhance your kid’s ability to think creatively and solve problems as well as their fine motor skills.
You can also let your kids experiment with different gadgets to allow them to become comfortable with technology and prompt their curiosity. Gaming devices, telescopes, and toy robots are great tools to help your kids explore their creative thinking through technology.
Technology can therefore be a great way for kids to flex their creative muscles, but parents should still be mindful of how much screen time their kids are getting. While art apps or video games can help develop fine motor skills and enhance kids’ abilities to solve problems, they’re no substitute for real-life activities.
While parents certainly shouldn’t rely on technology, it can be a great tool in creating a fun and imaginative environment in your home.
6. Use Indoor Jungle Gyms
For kids, jungle gyms and playgrounds are fertile grounds for fun and imaginative play.
Kids can pretend they’re Army soldiers as they swing along the monkey bars, or they can imagine that they’re kings, queens, and knights with the jungle gym as their castle.
Outdoor playgrounds, however, aren’t always the best venue for this kind of play. The weather might not be on your side, and they’re more likely to get hurt on larger structures.
That’s why an indoor wooden playset or indoor jungle gym from EZPlay are great alternatives to traditional outdoor playgrounds when fostering a creative environment for your kids in your home.
Younger kids can pretend that the Panda Playground is a treefort - complete with a swing - while older kids can use the Koala Playground to pretend that they’re gymnasts or adventurers swinging through the jungle.
Plus, indoor playgrounds are easy to set up and tear down, making them a perfect addition to your home when your kids need to play indoors.
Considering all above, an indoor jungle gym can be a great tool for parents looking to foster a creative environment in their homes by promoting imaginative play.
7. Cook with your Kids
When you cook at home, do you cook with your kids, or do you and your partner usually control the kitchen?
While cooking with kids is certainly chaotic, it’s an option to teach them an important life skill while enhancing their abilities to creatively solve problems.
When your kids are young, start them off with easy recipes like baked goods. Muffins are easy to make, and your young ones won’t need to be around much heat to make them. Plus, you’ll get to introduce them to the concept of substitution when you inevitably run out of milk or eggs.
As your kids get older, you can introduce them to more complex recipes that require more skill. You can start small with eggs and toast and then work your way up to a full Thanksgiving feast.
While it may take longer to make a meal with your kids in the kitchen, it’ll be worthwhile to see them learn and grow, and cooking is an activity that you can enjoy with them even when they’re all grown up.
Not only will you be teaching your kids an invaluable skill for them to use later in life, but you also will help enhance their ability to think creatively, solve problems, and manage their time.
8. Make Art with your Kids
Making art with your kids is one of the best ways to make your home a positive creative environment.
Art is an important way for kids to express themselves and improve their creative abilities. It enhances their fine motor skills, and it allows them to explore their imaginations.
You should always make sure that your home is stocked with craft supplies. You don’t need to buy out Hobby Lobby, but some crayons, Play Doh, and colored paper can go a long way in encouraging your kids to use their creativity frequently.
You should also come up with art projects for you to make with your kids. While you may not be an artist yourself, you can certainly teach your child simple crafts like making flowers out of tissue and pipe cleaner or making decorative paper chains.
Signing your kids up for art classes with your kid is another great way to connect with your child while creating art. Parent-child pottery classes are a messy but fun way to bond and create with your kid, and if you’re not the greatest at art, you can use these classes as an opportunity to learn together.
By creating art with your kids, you’ll allow them to explore their creativity while they improve their abilities to express themselves and move deliberately.
9. Teach them How to Play Music
Another great way to foster creativity in your home is to play music with your kids.
When your kids are just toddlers, you can help do this by providing them with simple instruments like toddlers’ keyboards and drums, and you can also sign them up for music classes geared toward young children.
As your kids move closer to kindergarten age, then you can teach them basics or sign them up for introductory classes for basic instruments like piano.
Elementary school kids will have plenty of opportunities to get involved with music as they get older. Schools will often have music classes where kids will sing and play recorder, and there may be music clubs for your kids to join.
Your kids can also join groups like the school band, choir, or orchestra if they want to learn other instruments and become more skilled in making music.
Even if your kid is nowhere near the next Mozart, teaching them how to play music is an important part of exploring their creativity and fostering their appreciation for good music.
10. Make a Photo Booth
Making a photobooth is a great way to play dress-up, introduce kids to photography, and create priceless memories all at the same time.
When you make a photo booth for your kids, you can start by gathering up old clothes, fun costumes, and interesting props around your house. While you can always supplement by buying items that you think your kids would like, you should be able to find plenty of dress-up supplies in your own home.
If you do need a few extra supplies, you should check out your local thrift shop. Thrift shops are always full of fun - and inexpensive - items for your kids to wear while they play dress-up.
Next, you should set up an area for your kids to take photos. For a good background, you can clear some wall space or hang a sheet, and you can grab a few lamps to improve the lighting in whatever room you’re in.
Then, have your kids dress up and snap away! If your kids are old enough, you can teach them how to use the camera themselves, and you can even include them in the process of setting up.
Once your kids have had their fun, you’ll have a collection of photos at the end to frame, put in scrapbooks, and keep for when they’re older.
Making a photo booth is the perfect way to create lasting memories while enabling your kids to be creative.
11. Go on Creative “Mini Field Trips”
Small ventures to places that promote creativity can be helpful in bonding with your kid while introducing them to new and stimulating environments.
Museums are a fun and inexpensive way to promote creative thinking. Children’s museums often feature a variety of exhibits that are appropriate for kids, and they’re full of fun, hands-on activities that allow your kid to explore the world around them.
Other museums, such as art museums or natural history museums, are also good choices for kids. While you may want to ensure your children are old enough to understand museum etiquette, these types of museums are great ways to educate your child and stimulate their minds.
Theater performances are another outing that you can enjoy while promoting a creative environment for your children. Age-appropriate plays and musicals are excellent ways to introduce your children to the theater, and many children’s theaters offer workshops for kids interested in acting to attend.
You can also attend musical performances like concert and symphonies to enhance your child’s love and appreciation of music. Whether it’s classical music or a popular artist, attending live music events will certainly allow your kid to develop their creativity.
You should also look into local events to see if there are local exhibits or speakers that could interest your kids. Outdoor festivals like Shakespeare in the Park or Renaissance Festivals can be excellent ways to enjoy theater and history with your kids, and exhibits about Ancient Egypt or space shuttles can be great experiences for them, too.
12. Watch Art Videos with your Kids
Watching art videos with your kids is a great way to spark their creativity - even if they’re all tuckered out.
Asking your kids to help you make a birdhouse or visit a museum after a long day of school or soccer practice might not be the best idea. Kids can get cranky - especially when they’re tired.
However, you can make the most of this down time by watching art videos with your kids.
Videos about art and artists can stimulate kids’ interest in art, and it can inspire them to think creatively about the world around them. You may also ask your kids questions about the video as you watch it to encourage them to think critically about the video’s contents.
You can also watch art videos that are focused on instructing viewers on how to complete a particular project. If you and your kids want to complete a family craft or experiment with a certain kind of art, you can watch videos ahead of time to see how much work it takes and whether or not your kids are interested in the project.
Art videos aren’t your typical educational videos - they’re colorful, bright, and engaging. This makes them one of the best kinds of educational videos for kids.
Watching videos about art with your kids can be a good way to promote creativity - even if they’re a bit tuckered out.
13. Play Creativity Games with your Kids
Creativity games are another good way to encourage your kids to be creative at homes.
Creativity games encompass a wide variety of games. You can use board games, such as Cranium or Scrabble, to encourage your kids to stretch their brains and improve their cognitive abilities. Even games like Monopoly can promote creative thinking by allowing kids to solve problems and make decisions about their course of action.
There are also a handful of creative group video games that you can play with kids. Modernized variations of Pictionary allow you and your kids to draw on your phones or tablets and facilitate games in an engaging way.
You can also make up plenty of games to play with your kids. Drawing games are a fun and easy way to get your kids to flex their creative thinking muscles, and matching games are fun to play with your kids - and you can even make your own matching game with your kids.
Even imaginative games - like “The Floor is Lava!” - are great ways for kids to explore their imaginations. Though these types of games might not be particularly stimulating in and of themselves, they’re great ways to encourage your kids to use their imaginations to create their own fun.
By playing imaginative games with your kids, you can help them become more creative while allowing them to explore their imaginations.
14. Enroll your Child in After-school Programs
After school programs are another great way for you to make your child’s environment just a little more creative.
While your child will be exposed to art and music at home and in school, after school programs can enhance their creative abilities in areas that they’re interested in. And, with so many different options available, you can allow your kids to explore all levels of their creativity.
After-school programs for things like art and music are great ways to allow your kids to explore their creative side, but even less-obvious options - like science programs or after school tutoring - can help them further enhance their creative thinking skills.
After-school programs are also great opportunities for your kids to engage creatively with their peers in a social environment. After-school programs are meant to be fun, and your kid will get to connect with peers outside of the classroom and further improve their social skills.
Plus, with after school programs, you’ll have a bit more time in the day to make dinner, grab craft supplies from the store, and take care of the home.
After-school programs are a great way to enrich your child’s learning and improve their abilities to think creatively.
15. Encourage Reading and Storytelling
Reading and storytelling will surely benefit your children in school - but they’re also an important part of promoting creativity in your household.
All kids love a good story - and you should foster that love by encouraging them to read.
When kids are very young, you should read to them and with them and tell them stories. Find books that are appropriate for their reading level, and read with them to help them improve their core skills.
However, you should also tell toddlers and other young children more complex stories that they can comprehend - even if they wouldn’t be able to read it on their own. This will encourage them to practice reading so that they can enjoy the stories you read to them on their own.
As kids get older, you should promote silent reading time, and you may ask them about what they read to encourage them to read carefully.
You can also engage them in storytelling through various activities. Scary stories around a campfire can be a fun way to encourage children’s imaginations - and it’s an excuse to eat s’mores!
As your children learn to write, you should encourage them to write stories and write about what they read. Promoting literacy is an important part of fostering a creative home environment for your kids.
It becomes clear that there are dozens of ways to boost creativity in kids and mostly all of them are not time consuming. In case of choosing an after-school program, parents do not even need to engage in the process of education. Thus, never forget to motivate kids to develop their creative skills because creativity is a crucial skill in the modern epoch.