Children are some of the most curious and creative people that many have the pleasure of encountering in this lifetime. They come up with the most outlandish scenarios that are both fascinating and entertaining! But when these imaginative minds have to stay at home for their safety, how do you encourage creativity?
Parents and guardians face a new challenge in making sure children keep learning during these times. Don’t let limited interactions with other kids and changes in scenery keep your child from putting their creativity to work. Thankfully, there are many ways to learn new things while staying safe at home.
Here are some great ideas to allow your child to keep their creative juices flowing:
Give Them Something to Build
Sometimes, giving a child a blank piece of paper and some crayons is enough to get them to create something from the treasure trove of their thoughts. However, it helps to give them some structure while still fostering creativity and intuition on other days.
Toy construction sets are a great way to let your child’s imagination roam free. These provide three-dimensional objects that they can manipulate with which to create various contraptions. Building sets are both fun and educational, as they help your child gain better spatial awareness.
Letting them play freely with the separate pieces of such toys is fun, but setting goals gives them motivation and teaches them to follow instructions. Let them have an end product to refer to and try to build on their own. By following the rules first, they can then develop inventive ways to play with their toys.
Make Something Together
Don’t leave your child to their own devices! Since you have all this time at home together, join them for some activities and make brand-new memories together. Here are some activities you and your children can do together:
Collaborate with Them in the Kitchen
Contrary to popular belief, the kitchen isn’t just for adults. The kitchen also presents plenty of opportunities for kids to create edible arts and crafts (under adult supervision, of course).
Ask them about meals, snacks, and desserts they want to eat and have them join you in the kitchen as an assistant. Allow them to do simple tasks first, such as bringing in ingredients or decorating the food. As your child learns more, you can slowly entrust them with more significant tasks when they become a little older.
Keeping them involved in meal prep helps them appreciate the work put into the food they eat every day. It can even lead them to discover new tastes and flavors that they like.
Make a COVID-19 Time Capsule
We are experiencing this time, hoping for the day that things will get better. Your kids are, too. A time capsule is a beautiful way to store your memories of this time and have something to look back at once the situation improves.
Let them choose items they associate with the pandemic for your time capsule and keep them in a box. They can also write notes and make drawings to chronicle their experiences. You can open it 5 or even 10 years later, and together you could see how your child has grown up since this period.
Allow Them to Express Their Emotions
This global pandemic is unprecedented, which means none of us are emotionally prepared for its effects. Your children may also be experiencing various emotions during this time. Give them room to be honest about how they are.
If your child has difficulty expressing themselves verbally, you can ask them to start a journal. Have them write down their thoughts instead of having a conversation. Guide them too and give them suggestions about which you can talk. Journaling encourages them to be honest about their feelings and not hold them in. It also helps improve their reading and writing skills.
However, one important thing to note is that journaling shouldn’t be exclusive to writing down words. Your children can fill in some pages with drawings of their day or even pictures of what they thought was interesting. Let them decide how to make it their own.
Allow your child to express themselves in the medium they find most natural to them. Each outlet varies between different kids, but keep observing yours, to know which medium of expression they’re inclined to and nurture it. Some may thrive when given some structure and an avenue to express their imagination. Others might find cooking with you a soothing experience. These times are tough, but art and creativity allow both kids and adults to cope and grow in a wide variety of ways.