Remember the days we reveled in the making of a fort for hours, just to eventually sit inside of it with a flashlight pretending to be surrounded by wilderness? Or the make believe tea parties and dinner extravaganzas that nobody in the family could miss?
With the imminent closing of Toys R Us and other toy store chains, we are reminded of the lack of diversity in children’s at-home leisure activities. Most children are consistently in front of a screen, unless their parents demand something else – which is usually a book or workbook. Rarely are children forced to push their minds to create. Without simple toys like Legos or building blocks, we lose touch with the creativity that makes children, children.
How can we get these joys back? What are the best ways to push children into the realm of creation?
- Buy simplistic toys
Steer clear of battery operated systems and complex toys. Buy toys and games that force your child to think and imagine in order to enjoy them. Toys that encourage make believe and pretend are ideal.
- Create alongside children Guide them as they draw, color, write, etc. Ask them questions, create your own art, excite them! Watching you create art will be one of the biggest motivators for creativity.
- Be open to all creativity
Don’t limit their creativity to painting or building! Allow them to write, or simply give them time to imagine. Creating music is also a great way to get those juices flowing!
- Read to your kids
Create a project out of their favorite stories. Read aloud to them with engaging scenes and make the story come alive. Later, ask them about the story! Go beyond the pages of the book with their favorite characters. Ask what they think the characters would do in certain scenarios, and see how far their imagination will go.