There is a common misconception that the word “creative” is mostly to do with the arts, which is only one part of creativity. It has many other facets of thinking abilities such as innovation, improvisation, risk taking, decision making, thinking outside the box, and coming up with solutions to problems.
To foster creative thinking skills in a child, various games can be used, which will help your child think and learn while having fun.
- Word and Number Games: Play word games with your child by asking them to say words based on starting letter sounds, rhyming words, similar word meaning or synonyms With numbers, you can ask them to count things in the house, or food items on their plate while eating. Also, practice counting by two’s, tens, fives, etc. Ask your child to spell simple words as and when they use or things, like ball, spoon, play, and to make a sentence using that word.
- Question and Knowledge: Answer questions asked by your child by countering it with a question. Ask questions related to whatever subject or areas of interest that they exhibit. When they make mistakes, don’t correct immediately. Ask open-ended questions to inspire their creativity. When reading non-fiction or scientific books, encourage your child by asking questions to reinforce their learning. You could solve problems related to fixing a broken toy, or solving a puzzle. Being hands-off helps your child figure out how to problem-solve in their own unique ways.
- Dramatics: Children love to listen to stories. When you read to your child, use different voices and accents, play dress-up in costumes of the characters, encourage changing character names or story endings. Let your child get involved making or selecting props and décor to enact scenes or do role play and sing songs if the story has them in it. Poems are also a very effective way to bring out the creativity in children.
- Arty Games: Colours and colouring activities are a great way to involve your child to think creatively. Clay work, making prints, drawing, finger painting, or even easel painting, and giving a free hand to the children without passing judgements or opinions will turn children into creators.
- Cooking Up: Cooking is a very creative process and baking especially so. Let your child join you in some baking while helping with rolling, measuring, mixing, decorating etc. As your child gets to practice, question and experiment with ingredients and move on to different things. While cooking, explain the benefits of healthy cooking and eating, which keeps your child’s mind and body healthy and helps them to think better.
As a parent, by motivating your child to learn and solve problems, you also give them life skills that constantly nurtures creativity in them.