The Mom Challenge: Week 35 - How to Raise Creative Kids

 The Mom Challenge

Welcome to week 35 of The Mom Challenge!! If you are new, please know that you can jump in at anytime!! Check out all of our previous weeks here.

 The Mom Challenge - Week 34:  How To Raise Creative Kids

This week we are talking about how to raise creative kids this week.  I think being creative is so important!  Now, we aren’t talking about raising your child to be a musical prodigy (well, they could be!) or the artist of our time (it could happen!) but being creative leads to being good problem solvers!  That ability to think outside the box will serve your child well through adulthood!  And it’s something that can be learned!  So here are ten ways to keep the creativity flowing in your house!

1.  Ask “Why?” and “What if…” Questions

Kids ask a lot of questions! In fact, one study said that kids ask 300 questions a day!  I know that it’s hard when you are asked 300 questions, but encourage your children to ask questions!  You are never going to learn about things if you don’t ask questions!  Even as an adult, I ask a lot of questions.  (I blame my Mother who, also, asks a lot of questions!)  I promise I don’t ask 300 a day, but if I’m ever curious about something - I ask!  People are generally happy to teach and pass along what they know.

What if questions are my favorite.  Josh asks a TON of what if’s.  Some people will say “Stop with the what if’s!  It’s not even possible!” but I say “Bring them on!!” When he asks things like “What if a monster came for dinner?” or “What if you were driving and it literally started raining cats and dogs?” I love it!  It means that he is thinking!  And when he asks silly questions, it means he is using his imagination to create those silly questions!

2. Answer Those Questions!

So now your kids are asking a ton of questions.  It’s so important to answer them! Answering their questions shows that no question is a bad question.  Plus, you are helping your child learn!

If your child asks a silly what-if question - answer them back with a silly answer!  Not only is it fun, but this keeps the imagination going!  Then, they have to tell the next part of the story!

If you don’t know the answer, don’t feel embarrassed!  It’s ok!  And actually, it’s good!  It shows that no one knows everything and that we all, even as adults, still have more to learn about the world.  Go ahead and tell your child that you don’t know.  But make sure to make time to find out together the answer.  This is a great way to show children how to search for answers!  Plus, it’s great mom time to learn together!

If you find your child asking a lot of questions on a specific topic, it’s a great way to take your learning to another level!  Visit the library, do a quick Google search or visit a museum!  Get your child involved!  It may help them discover a new passion.

Open Ended Toys - Toys to pick for your child that promote creativity and problem solving skills

3. Encourage and Have Open-Ended Toys

What are open-ended toys?  Open-ended toys are toys that don’t have a set of instructions.  They can be things like Legos, play kitchens (or pretend food), dolls, art supplies or Play-Doh.  Open-ended toys are great because they allow to kids to use their imaginations!  Are they playing house or opening a restaurant?  Are they building a spaceship and then traveling to Planet Zion or building a town? (Psst!  You can see our favorite open ended toys here! )

4. Have Easy Access to Those Open-Ended Toys!

I used to teach pre-school and one thing that some teachers did that drove me absolutely crazy was that they would ‘close’ centers or keep the art supplies up high where kids couldn’t use them.  If you would ask why they had a good reason - it gets messy.  But that’s not a good enough reason!  Who cares if the kids drag every.single.piece of dress up clothing out?  And seriously, wiping down the paint table takes just a few minutes!  Giving kids easy access to ways to pretend and create is SO important in fostering creativity!  Encourage children to play!  Even if that means there is a mess!  (And then, encourage them to help!)

control freak

5. Be Open Minded

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page and it made me laugh.  Been there!  But I try REALLY hard NOT to! So what that they Lego set they are using is to build a pirate ship and they chose to build a space ship?  Give your children the tools and let them create!

One thing I learned while teaching is not to ask children what they made?  (Who wants to work hard on a project just to have no one be able to recognize it?) Instead, ask them to tell you about their project!

6. It’s OK to Try

If they are trying do something and it turns out not to work or work like they should just remind them that it is ok!  It doesn’t mean you failed - it means you succeeded in finding a way that it doesn’t work!  Ask them questions to help guide to what could be fixed and to help brainstorm ideas that might work.

stress

7. Keep A Stress Free Environment

This is important just for overall health in general!  Stress is no fun.  Nothing kills the creative mind like stress!  If your child is painting try not to say, “Are you done yet?  Are you almost done?”  I understand and am all for time restraints!  But make sure your child has enough time!  Don’t rush them through their work!  I wouldn’t want to be rushed either!  While they are complaining try to keep your grumbles about noise and mess to yourself (unless things get out of control!) As long as kids help clean up their mess and aren’t crazy and disturbing the neighbors (or you on the phone!) let them play.  Let them be kids!  If you find your kids (or yourself!) getting stressed - go for a walk, take a nap or my favorite….

8. READ!

Reading is SO good!  Good for the mind!  Good for relaxing.  Good for learning.  Good for creativity.  Good for bonding.  Good for everything!  Read to your child!  Everyday!  When they are older make sure they have a reading time.   Books are so powerful!

9. Cook Together

Cooking is another great bonding time.  It’s a fun process that kids can do and make something seriously delicious (or, well, not!  We’ve made those too!) When kids get older it’s a great way to turn it into a chemistry lesson!  And even better, when they get older they may turn into a great chef and make you deliciously awesome meals! :)

10. Model a Creative Lifestyle

Showing your children that creativity is important to you is a great way for them to grow up with it being important to them.  I’m not saying you need to be creating a mural in your living room, but if painting is your thing do it!  If gardening is your peace go for it!  If you love to read, make the time!  And not only while the kids are asleep!  Let them see that you enjoy giving your mind an exercise!  Be a role model!

The Mom Challenge Week 35 - How to Raise Creative Kids ♥

(Don’t forget to pin!)

What is your favorite way to be creative?

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Comments

  1. Jessica @EatSleepBe says

    This is sometimes a hard one for me, because I am more of a “symmetry person” than a “color outside of the lines” person. I try to let them be creative and set their own boundaries when they can!

    • says

      Me too Jessica! I am definitely a type A person. I love things like lists, schedules and going in order. I am a perfectionist and it’s really hard for me to keep that voice quiet sometimes!

  2. says

    Love this post! I’ve always been partial to toys that let you do your own thing. I also don’t mind if my little one makes a huge mess or uses his swing to launch toys into outer space etc :) They grow up so fast; it’s really important to embrace them and the moments that we share together. I love the funny stuff he comes up with lol. He’s starting to ask questions and it’s interesting to see how he looks at things vs how we look at the same things, as adults. It would be cool if I could be “kid me” for a day to play with “kid him” <3
    Tiffany @DaydreamingRealist recently posted…Speedway Express Wagon ReviewMy Profile

  3. says

    I must be a great mom - our house always has toys everywhere by mid-morning, lol. I never mind the mess but it does have to be cleaned up before bed - I hate stepping on legos at 3am! I do however keep the paint up high. Sorry but after trying to clean it out of the carpet and then replacing said carpet because it did not come out - paint needs to be up where someone can not sneak it out while you grab a quick shower!
    Jennifer Williams recently posted…Staying Hydrated with Nathans Hydration BeltsMy Profile

  4. says

    I love this post! You have so much good advice here. I taught elementary school and I did close a center once in a while - but not because of messiness. Great tips!

  5. says

    When my kids were younger we used to do more of this stuff together. I remember all the ‘why, but why, why now’ questions that would drive me a little crazy. Now that they are older they do more stuff on their own. I miss cooking with them and having them help me more. This summer I’m making it our goal to make fun crafts and projects at home weekly to spend quality time together and have less technology time.
    MommaDJane recently posted…DIY Fairy Garden Fence with BannerMy Profile

  6. Maria says

    I think lifestyle plays an important role. I don’t give my kids too much pressure so they can be creative and independent.

  7. Lawna says

    My kids love to help out in the kitchen. No matter if it’s just doing the dishes or helping cook. Let’s home that doesn’t change as they get older.

  8. says

    This is a great topic. My son is incredibly creative, but I realized along the way that my fast-paced way of life doesn’t do anything to help him cultivate his talents. My biggest challenge is slowing down so he has time to just BE, and answering ALL of his million questions with patience.

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