Foster Creative Play
Summer is all about creative play and finding ways to continue learning while still having lots of fun and being exposed to new and interesting things. Here are some ideas to get the kids started in their creative adventures where the limits are boundless.
Inspiring ways to promote creative play with your kids…
- Turn off the TV – Creativity is not about screen time. Watching television and playing video games are passive activities. And while some television shows and video games can have educational value, you still need to limit your child’s screen time.
- Think outside the box – the ‘box’ can be good. The ‘box’ can provide structure, a framework for doing, for being. But sometimes you need to think beyond the box and step into new territory. Every new invention, new discovery, new way of doing things – came from outside the box.
- Play outside the box – To inspire more creative play, shop for things that inspire a different kind of fun. Head to the art and craft store, the army surplus store, scientific shop to find age appropriate props that inspire original thought and increased engagement.
- Be curious – Remember what it’s like to be a kid and the hunger you had to explore. Spend time with a 2 year old and bugs become really exciting again. Go to a play. Attend the ballet. A concert. Listen to different kinds of music. Find new places to walk. Take a hike. Be adventurous.
- Listen in new ways – Invite your child to listen in ways to develop the theater of the mind, where the listener supplies the visuals. Learn to see with your mind and not depend on what others create for you. Get books on tape. Listen to old radio shows like Gunsmoke, The Shadow and Johnny Dollar.
- Put on a show – Encourage talent shows, bike parades and hot lava pits in the backyard. While they revel in creative play, they also learn the value of teamwork, relationships and how to celebrate each other’s successes.
- Be original – Expose your kids to new artists, different t-shirt designs, alternative kinds of toys and play. Being creative starts with having original ideas. It starts with letting your child be who they want to be.
- Sing, dance, act, create – The arts are all about creativity. Exploring, doing and training in ways that build confidence and more doing. Provide lots of materials and opportunities for kids to create on their own and with friends.
- Play in the junk drawer – Every house has that one place, a drawer, a basket or the closet where the odds and ends end up; the knob from a broken cabinet, extra batteries, ball of string, odd Lego parts, duct tape… Think of Apollo 13 – what looked like a random pile of junk – but they had to rethink, reimagine its purpose – to create something new.
- Go outside and get messy – Kids need time to go outside and play in the sandbox. They need to take a hike. Make mud pies. Dig a hole. Dance in the rain. Once in awhile, let your kids be up past their bedtime. Send them outside and let them play. Let them run. Catch fireflies. Play Holly in the dark. Build a fort. Dig a hole. Make a mess.
For more ideas, try one of these 23 Activities Your Visual Kid Will Crush.