BENEFITS OF CREATIVITY: Tips for encouraging innovative minds

Story by Stacie Gaetz

Fall 2022

Creativity is a key ingredient to a child’s physical, social and psychological development.

Arts and crafts are often seen as play time and not necessarily educational, but the benefits of creativity are plentiful.

Encouraging innovation in your child helps with everything from motor skills and problem solving to imagination and curiosity.

If you think about it, it makes sense.

  • Holding and using a paint brush helps with fine motor skills
  • Counting the pieces of an art project improves math abilities
  • Feeling good about what they have created boosts self confidence
  • Experimenting with new materials broadens their horizons

So how can you encourage your little creator to make what’s on their minds?

It is easier than you think!

Here are four tips to help support your child’s creativity:

Don’t be afraid to get messy

There is nothing worse for a child than seeing an array craft supplies and being told they “can’t do this” or “must do that.” Art activities and other crafts that encourage creativity shouldn’t come with a ton of rules. Of course, you can give some rough instructions but after that, let them do it their way. It is way more fun for them and you may even learn something by the way your child chooses to create their craft.

Praise the process

Along the same lines as the last tip, it is important to check in from time to time and embrace your child’s work without making suggestions for changes. Accept the way they have chosen to design and discover and then move on to tip three to learn more about their art.

Be specific in your questions

We are all quick to say, “good job” and praise our children for whatever they are making, but taking a closer look and asking detailed questions about certain aspects of their work shows them that you have an interest in what they are doing and therefore in them. This helps immensely with self-confidence and perseverance.

Display their artwork

Nothing makes a child prouder of what they have made than seeing the fruits of their labour prominently placed in a high-traffic area of the house. If they are having a bad day or just a moment of dysregulation, opening the fridge with their masterpiece on it can turn their attitude around. It shows you are so proud of their work that you want to show it off.

Nourishing creativity in all forms and encouraging innovation in young minds can positively impact multiple aspects of a child’s development, so bust open that craft cupboard and start creating!