Family • Wellbeing • Adventure

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Four Ways to Encourage Your Child's Creative Play

Creative play is crucial to the learning and development of your child, yet in this competitive world, full of well-meaning parents who want the best for their children, creative play is often overlooked because it is not a productive activity. No matter which style of play your child gravitates towards, encouraging them to use their imaginations will have boundless benefits.

Image Source: Pexels

Play is essential to key developmental areas covering everything from problem-solving skills and motor development to cognitive and emotional skills, and effective communication. Children struggle to put across what they think and how they feel, which can leave them frustrated and thwarted. Creative play gives children nonverbal means to express themselves and confront powerful feelings like worry, anger, and fear. Most important of all, creative play is essential to your child’s sense of wellbeing. Not only does creative play encourage your child to develop a sense of autonomy, but it also fosters essential interpersonal qualities such as kindness, understanding, and cooperation.

Here are four easy ways to encourage creative play.

Activate the Five Senses

Encourage your child to experience and describe the world around them in every way available to them. The home and garden contain plenty of potential for sensory experiences, which can spark whole other realms of their invention.

Creative Space

Create zones within your home and garden where the child is given free rein to invent. This can be everything from a blackboard-painted wall given over to your child’s chalk masterpieces, to a dress-up box, a fort or a doll’s house. You could look to buy a dolls house and give your child the freedom to furnish it and play out the lives of the family living there. Melody Jane Dolls Houses are a good starting point for endless imaginative play. Whether it’s Lego or an empty shampoo bottle ‘boats’ in the bath, giving your child the space and materials for creative play allows them to invent and discover.

Image Source: Unsplash

Let Them Follow Their Passions

Notice what form of creativity your child is naturally drawn to, and then enable and encourage it. This might take the form of providing the appropriate materials, or simply noticing what your child does and offering positive comments. This will encourage them to follow their passions all the way through life, which makes it much more likely that they will end up structuring their adult lives around things that they enjoy.

Model Creativity

Children look to their parents for behaviour cues, which is one reason they soon shake off creative play in favour of productive activity. Why not show your child that it’s okay to spend time doing things just for fun? Get involved in your child’s creative projects (remembering to let them direct the activity) or find a creative outlet for yourself. Remember those creative things you liked to do as a child? Why did you stop? Getting back into it could boost your own wellbeing. Maybe it’s time to dust off that old box of paints.

Encouraging creative play is not rocket science. Leave a child unattended for five minutes and what do they usually do? They invent a way to occupy themselves using their imaginations. Sometimes the best thing we can do is allow them to do their own thing.

K Elizabeth xoxox

*Collaborative Post

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