How To Raise Creative Kids

Thank you! I like the idea of raising creative kids but I don't have time to prep craft projects and holiday-themed art projects for kids. This post took the guilt trip away and actually gave me ideas that I can use today. My kids are going to love this!

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Children who practice creativity regularly strengthen their problem-solving abilities and take their creative thinking skills into their adult lives. Many of us have heard of the benefits of creativity, but where do you start if you want to raise creative kids? And how do you go about it if you don’t feel like you have a single creative bone in your body?

Yes, you could enroll your kiddo at the nearest Montessori school and hope for the best, but raising creative kids doesn’t have to be a huge investment of time or money. You can take any combination of these seven strategies and start putting them to work today for your family. Each one of these ideas is meant to be a simple solution you can try with your toddlers and even your teens.

7 Strategies to Raise Creative Kids

Before we get dive in, let’s ditch the mom-guilt. I’m saying this to myself as much as to any of you. If you’ve never made a single art project with your kid, don’t worry about it. You can start today. Feeling like we’re failing doesn’t push us forward at all; it just makes us want to curl up with a slice of chocolate cake. ;)

Let’s get started!

Make creative activities available.

I first heard about this concept when I was looking online for some projects to do with my toddler. You can create a little tray of interesting objects and leave them out for your child to access on their own. Depending on their age, this tray could have supplies for a complete art project or supplies for them to use for imaginary play. If it’s around Easter time, pick up an extra Easter basket and toss creative supplies inside it for spontaneous creative time. Usually, kids will jump at the opportunity to try out some new supplies (or new-to-them supplies.) They just need to know they’re available.

Not so into DIYing this? There’s no shame in buying a craft kit. My nieces would love any one of these Disney-inspired craft kits! (Don’t tell—I kind of want the shell necklace one.)

Thank you! I like the idea of raising creative kids but I don't have time to prep craft projects and holiday-themed art projects for kids. This post took the guilt trip away and actually gave me ideas that I can use today. My kids are going to love this!

Create with them.

Even if you don’t think you’re very creative, taking the time to create with your kids shows them it’s a fun thing to do. (They really like doing things with you, even if they’re rolling their eyes.) Pick up a craft project at the store, and set aside a Friday evening to make it together. Pull out your sketchbook and doodle as your kids paint. Sometimes my daughter and I do collaborative drawings where she draws a little bit and I color it in. We go back and forth and it’s a lot of fun. Taking 20 minutes to play with your kids will mean so much to them, and it will stretch everyone’s creative thinking.

Don’t limit your idea of creativity.

I recently was talking with a friend who said she wasn’t creative At All. No way. Not a bit of creativity in her. But then, later in our conversation, she said she crocheted a hat for her kid. Um, that’s creative. That’s a simplistic example, I’m sure, but creativity is all about problem-solving. So building a town with Legos is as creative as pulling out the art easel and painting. My husband is a graphic designer and he describes his work as solving client’s problems via design. He thinks of a lot of different ideas for his clients and helps them in their own creative thinking for their businesses. When you’re looking for creative projects you could do with your kids, keep the problem solving element in mind. This will especially help you if the thought of making craft projects makes you nervous.

Try, try again.

I remember the first time I made cloud dough for my daughter. It was a complete disaster. She wasn’t into it, and I ended up covered with a floury, messy dough that got everywhere. I felt like hanging up my creative mom hat right there. Not all of the projects you do are going to work out. Sometimes you’ll set things up, and everyone will be cranky. But please keep on trying. Creative play helps young children immensely in their development. Even “mundane” things like cutting strips of paper and gluing cotton balls onto paper are great for their fine motor skills and become helpful learning experiences.

Thank you! I like the idea of raising creative kids but I don't have time to prep craft projects and holiday-themed art projects for kids. This post took the guilt trip away and actually gave me ideas that I can use today. My kids are going to love this!

Mix creative exercises with their passion.

Thankfully, the internet is full of resources to help you out in this arena. Have a kid who loves Star Wars? How about princesses? Google your kid’s interest + crafts (or kids activities), and you’re likely to find myriads of coloring sheets, craft projects, and creative ideas. (I did a quick search on Amazon and found several creative kits that are Star Wars-themed here, so there are options beyond glitter and glue!) You don’t have to do this all the time, but if your kid is not so interested in creative time, this is a great way to motivate them. (Don’t forget that cooking a treat together counts as creativity—you might find yourself decorating minion cookies!)

Don’t make it too hard (on you.)

Especially if you’re just starting out with creating with your kids, there’s no reason to buy a year’s worth of craft supplies. You don’t need to undertake huge projects. If you have older kids, you can subscribe to an online service like Creativebug that has myriads of art and creativity classes that are professionally filmed. I’ve taken a few of those classes and highly recommend them. (You should click here to get a free class and 30 day trial.)

I used to feel the pressure to create a “learning atmosphere” here at home with my daughter, and though my intentions were good, it was overwhelming to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis. She was barely crawling, and I was trying to think up a curriculum of sensory activities for her. What I didn’t realize was merely spending time with her and playing with her was enough. I eventually boxed all of our creating supplies and put them in a place that I can easily access when we have time. (I make sure to keep them in plain sight for me since out of sight means out of mind!)  My daughter also has a small desk that is home to a cup of crayons and paper so she can draw whenever she wants. Make it simple on yourself.

Take baby steps.

Finally, take baby steps. Raising creative kids doesn’t mean you have to adhere to a strict schedule where you have a unique, holiday-themed craft every afternoon at 2:00. However, you can add a reminder in your planner to pull out the coloring books and color together after you get home from errands. Taking baby steps towards creativity has ironically made me way more consistent. When I was planning projects that had themes or took more time, I felt overwhelmed and ended up procrastinating. I finally had my breakthrough moment one day when I was sketching in my art journal and my daughter came over to watch me. She was so intrigued, she grabbed a colored pencil and began adding her marks to the paper. We went back and forth, drawing and doodling and scribbling. It might have only taken ten minutes, but it was worth it. After that, I realized creating with her didn’t have to be a big deal.

These seven simple strategies will help you to raise creative kids who are able to contribute to their world by solving problems in different ways. You’ll be strengthening their thinking and reasoning skills and giving them a boost of confidence. And you’ll likely end up having a lot of fun together which is a win too!

Hope you have a lovely {and creative} day!

4 thoughts on “How To Raise Creative Kids

  1. Gread advice. I actually realised I don’t have enough stuff for them to play with. Sure, we have lego and blocks, puzzles, colored pencils, watercolors and some board games but no kinetic sand or other stuff to create, such as beads or their very own yarn to knit or make carpets for their doll houses. :)

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