Advertisement

How can I encourage my child's creativity?

Help your kids get back to basics by steering them away from the television, video game system, and computer as much as possible and encourage other forms of recreation, like reading, sports, or arts and crafts. You might be surprised to find out how much your children actually can learn through unstructured play. Not only is it healthy for their bodies, it’s healthy for their minds!

Left to their own devices, kids manage to entertain themselves. You’ve likely witnessed a small child cast aside the shiny new toy in favor of the cool box it came in. Try to look at ordinary things with the eyes of a child. If everyday items don’t present a safety hazard, add them to the toy box or leave them where your child is sure to find them. Many times all you need to do is provide an environment that encourages play and then take a step back and let the learning begin.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Stock kids’ shelves with blocks, art supplies, and dress-up clothes.
  • Recycle plastic containers that can be used to hold water, pour sand, or hide secret treasures.
  • Don’t toss cardboard boxes: They might be perfect as a dollhouse, fire station, or barnyard corral.
  • Blankets and pillows make a cozy hideaway.
  • Scarves and fabric remnants can become a beautiful headdress or superhero cape.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

    More About this Book

    Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

    When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...
    Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
    Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
    One of the best ways to let your child's creative juices flow is to let her create all kinds of art, whether it's scribbling on a piece of paper or playing with paints and crayons. Besides allowing her to expand her imagination, this helps her develop those fine motor skills (holding a pencil or crayon, squeezing a bottle of glue). We suggest that you make art a regular part of your weekly routine, and try not to set too many rules (besides keeping the art on the paper, not the walls). The rug is going to be ruined by   milk-soaked Rice Krispies anyway, so what's a little glue or paint to go with it? That way, your child will feel most free to express herself.
    YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

    More About this Book

    YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

    There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

    Continue Learning about Parenting

    How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums
    How to Deal with Toddler Tantrums
    No question that tantrums (especially the public ones) can be some of the most frustrating times we have as parents and grandparents. The easiest thin...
    Read More
    Should I reprimand another parent's child?
    Lynne KenneyLynne Kenney
    It depends. Are you the responsible adult in charge in that moment? Is the child at your home, w...
    More Answers
    The Scoop on Baby Poop: 5 Hues and What They Mean
    The Scoop on Baby Poop: 5 Hues and What They MeanThe Scoop on Baby Poop: 5 Hues and What They MeanThe Scoop on Baby Poop: 5 Hues and What They MeanThe Scoop on Baby Poop: 5 Hues and What They Mean
    Here’s what’s common, what’s not—and when to call the doc.
    Start Slideshow
    What Are the Key Principles of "You" Parenting?
    What Are the Key Principles of "You" Parenting?

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.