Creative intelligence is something that parents can help their children develop in a number of ways.  Possessing a good level of creative intelligence will help your child in the future in all kinds of ways – they will learn to become resourceful and to trust their own instincts and abilities, leading to self confidence and a positive attitude towards life.  Resourceful and creative children will grow up to be confident and industrious people who will sail through life, meeting setbacks and problems with a positive, can-do attitude which can lead to a happier and more productive lifestyle.  Here are our top ten tips on encouraging creativity in your little ones.

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Encourage questions and conversation – talk to your little one all the time, however young he is.  As your child gets to the “Why?” stage, there may be times when you feel sick of answering questions all the time, but be patient – asking questions is how your child finds out about the world and you are his closest and most constant teacher.  Instead of answering with “Because”, answer the question using terms that your child can understand.  If you don’t know the answer, admit this and say “Let’s try to find out” – you can then set off on a voyage of discovery with your child.  This will encourage curiosity and you and your child can have fun together learning something new.

Take your children to interesting places – make sure that you make regular visits to museums, galleries, parks and other educational visitor attractions.  Go to places that will encourage your child to ask questions and stimulate conversation – it’s often cheaper than visiting a theme park or cinema and your child will benefit from it more.

Don’t expect perfection – if your child is making something or doing something and struggling a little, don’t be tempted to take over and do it for him.  Yes, you will probably do a better job (after all you’re an adult and you will have perfected your skills by now), that’s not the point though.  The whole point of doing or making things is for your child to develop those skills for himself.

Show respect for your child’s creative efforts – hang the artwork in the kitchen, display stories in the living room, and show off your little one’s creations to family and friends.  This will ensure that your child sees his efforts being valued and it will raise his self-esteem and encourage him to be more creative.

Don’t worry about the mess – kids make a mess when they are making stuff and it’s our job as a parent to clean up after them.  Make sure that your kitchen or playroom (wherever most of the craft activities take place in your home) is geared for this mess.  Make sure that surfaces are easy to clean and that the furniture is wipeable, then you won’t need to worry about mess and spills.

Create a Craft Cupboard.  Gather together a load of craft materials and keep them all in one place so that your child has access to a great little store of craft items.  Here are some things that you can keep in the craft cupboard:

  • Paper (in a variety of colours, patterns, weights and sizes)
  • Pencils, felt pens, paints, chalks, crayons – all sorts of drawing implements
  • Glue and scissors (make sure the scissors are safe for little ones)
  • Glitter, feathers, pompoms, foam sheets, sequins, sticky paper shapes
  • A variety of strings, twines, wool, etc
  • Natural treasures – conkers, pine cones, dried leaves, sand, seeds

Keep a couple of shower curtains (the pound shop ones are best) for covering surfaces or the floor – they can easily be washed out when you’ve finished creating and they’re cheap enough to replace on a regular basis.

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