It would be remiss to believe that a traditional, standard education is all that a child might need to awaken the full spectrum of their creative abilities. It is always important to provide the support that will allow your little one’s unique abilities to flourish. So, what are some of the best ways to nurture your child’s creativity outside of the classroom?
Invest in extra-curricular education
Investing in extra-curricular education is always a good idea to boost your child’s opportunities for an enriched future as a skilled and dynamic individual. A course that is specializing designed to encourage and expand your gifted and talented child’s abilities is what gifted education is all about.
If you feel like your child is especially attuned to the arts and creative pursuits (perhaps he/she is a budding actor, dancer, singer, painter, musician, author, academic etc.) you might like to consider the extra level of encouragement and expertise that professional extra-curricular education can provide. This will bring out your child’s latent abilities and enrich them to their utmost potential.
Plan day trips/activities
Expand your little one’s understanding of the world by taking them on day trips – and, allow them to ‘play their way’ into learning. You could visit the museum, the science centre, the planetarium, the botanic gardens, or plan a host of other activities that encourage their interests through live examples. Being able to see, touch, smell and explore an actual reality (as opposed to mere theory) is one of the more effective tools in opening up a young mind to the sheer joy of learning.
For some children (particularly those that are gifted/talented) school can sometimes be too regulated and restrictive an environment to allow for their unique creative sensibilities.They may feel stifled and discouraged. Finding ways to revel in day trips and activities that are both fun and educational is a very different (and effective) approach. This will give them some understanding of their strengths and passions, and will assist their level of confidence and help in formulating their sense of identity as they grow.
Allow enough space for creating
Children need enough space to allow for their boundless imaginations to come alive – both in a figurative and literal sense. That’s why a ‘special creating space’ is so integral to their development. Even if it’s just a the kitchen or kiddie’s table, make sure your child has enough room to explore, to get messy and to dream big. You can go one step further and design a specialised art space, a reading nook, or a customised playroom or studio.
Stock the space with all the necessary materials and equipment. This is so that your child can easily set about on their creative adventures, whenever the mood strikes. You can design a particular theme – for example, you could fashion a space-age observatory/make-believe chemical lab/archeological dig-site for your little scientist, or a ballet/jazz/piano room for your little performer. Get your child involved in the planning and decorating stages. They will, undoubtedly, express unbridled excitement at the prospect and this will set them firmly on their way.
Lead by example
Always remember that you are a mirror to your child. This means the more creative you are – the more they will be inspired. Be creative in your daily life and lead by example. Like endengers like. And, ideas are naturally bred from other ideas. Therefore, aim to be a positive and encouraging ‘sounding board’ for your child. Cultivate free expression and play make-believe. Above all, be the type of parent who is always thinking differently. This will encourage critical thinking (a hallmark of any well-developed mind).
Let your child know that it is ok to make mistakes. Be mindful to avoid expressing a need for perfection. If you treat yourself this way your child will more than likely absorb these implicit expectations. ‘Not feeling quite good enough’ can be a significant obstacle in manifesting creative projects to fruition. Seek out your inner child. Get involved and share ideas. In this way, you will best serve to propel a young and vivid imagination into a matured and adept intellect.
Think outside the box (and the classroom)
Nurturing your child’s creativity to its maximum potential is all about thinking outside the box – and, the classroom. Aim to provide opportunities that go beyond ‘stock standard’ to best foster the development of little people and big imaginations.