Creative thinkers make the world a better, richer and more exciting place, and are valued for their ability to try new things and improve on old ways of thinking. Steve Jobs revolutionised computing; Picasso took the principles of art and turned them on their head; Vivienne Westwood shook up the fashion world by introducing punk style into mainstream fashion.
However, we don’t all need to be computer geniuses, bold artists or ground-breaking fashion designers to benefit from creative thinking. Qualities like not being afraid to try and to fail are essential to problem-solving in many situations. Having an open mind and a willingness to find solutions that aren’t obvious are valuable skills that can lead to success at school, with relationships and in employment, so it’s a great idea to foster creative thinking as much as possible when your kids are young.
Here are five tips for encouraging your kids to take a creative approach to life:
1. Allow them to make mistakes.
Go so far as to encourage them to fail by sharing with them ways you have failed yourself. It will show them that it’s not a thing to be afraid of – and that being able to look on a past failure, laugh and then move on is healthy and positive.
2. Give them the space
If you can, have a dedicated space for creativity in the house – even if it’s a small corner set up for art and craft, allow your kids autonomy in that space and take a step back from it.
3. Encourage daydreaming
Letting the mind wander is a key element of creativity. It’s at these times when great ideas are reached, inspiration is found and lateral thinking is explored. So if you catch your kids with a far-off look in their eyes, don’t shake them out of it.
4. Join in
Playing games with your kids, painting pictures with them or telling each other stories is a way to encourage engaging in creative activities if they are reluctant to.
5. Use technology
Kids are now usually more tech-savvy than their parents. Encourage them to use programs like Garage Band to create music, or give them a video camera or a recording device and free rein to create something special.
How do you encourage your kids to be creative?
Vivienne Egan writes for Baker Ross the arts and crafts supplier