Go back 100 years, and you will find children playing in streams and roaming in fields to pick flowers and blow wishes on white dandelion tufts. You will find kid’s entertaining themselves with baseball and silly games from daylight till dusk.
If you go back even 40 years, you will find children waking up on warm summer mornings with happy hearts and imaginative minds filled with endless ideas of things to do for the day; wearing pretty dress-up clothes and throwing pageants; jumping on the trampoline and playing capture the flag and other yard games; all with no distractions.
It was only since the late 90’s when the world started seeing the first signs of higher-end technology that would one day beg for our attention. Today the smart phone and other screens provide us with knowledge and connection with our loved ones, but that is not without temptation. Sometimes watching a movie or playing a game on your phone is much more exciting for our kid’s than doing an activity that would spark their imagination and creativity.
If you have wrestled with this in some capacity, read through the advice below to re-spark the creativity inside your little ones.
This piece of advice goes without saying: create a set of rules to help your children limit screen time, then, stay true to those rules. Remember, technology can be a great learning tool, but with every good thing, balance is required.
“When [children] are bogged down by social media or constant television it becomes harder for their minds to wander into their own wild imaginations,” from a Budsies blogpost, titled, Technology and How to Develop Creativity in Kids in the 21st Century. Vice versa, when we provide a clear set of rules for our children to follow, we create an environment that allows their minds to wander and be wild.
Let Your Kids Get Bored
“Mom, I’m Bored!” We’ve all heard this famous phrase, probably more times than we’d like, and if we’re being honest, it can be a hassle trying to muster up five different ideas a day just to entertain our kid’s. But, here’s a thought. What if boredom is not a bad thing?
The article, How Boredom Can Enhance Creativity and Mental Health, from Inside Out Club, says, “boredom has the ability to enable our creative thinking by moving us into a state of daydream, which then allows our minds to wander and create without distractions.” So, next time you hear the words “I’m bored,” stop for a moment, encourage your children to offer you some ideas instead, and watch their minds at work.
Don’t Say No!
You’re probably thinking, “what do you mean, don’t say no?!” Don’t worry. It’s only for a couple of hours . . . with adult supervision and precaution of course. Simply, schedule out a time during the week to let your children do whatever their minds come up with. If they ask you to do face paint or doing something as simple as go on a walk, celebrate it! Consistently doing something like this in their life will grow their imagination, and will teach them to act on their big dreams and big ideas instead of saying no.
Inspire Your Children
Let’s continue the celebrating shall we! Another way to spark your child’s creativity is by sitting back to watch what your children naturally love to do, then help them in those areas. One of them may naturally love all things jumping, climbing and running outside. Another may love dancing, singing and playing the piano. Or, you might have a child who is content with reading a book and quietly drawing.
Dave and Ashley Crosby, the creators of the Youtube channel, The Crosby’s, are an excellent example of pushing their children to go after their interests. When their first daughter Claire was born, it didn’t take long for them to notice her voice. She would sing anywhere and everywhere she went.
It all started with the short video of Claire singing the Disney, Part of Your World, on Youtube when she was three, and since then she has been using her creativity to share light with the world ever since.
You don’t need a Youtube Channel to spark your child’s creativity, but if you limit technology, let your kids get bored, say yes a little more often and inspire your kids to do the activities they love, then their little minds will become more curious, imaginative and creative.