4 Ways to Encourage Creative Play
Creativity comes in all shapes and guises, from art to music to storytelling to dance to…well, whatever! For parents, the goal is to encourage a child’s innate desire to express himself, as often and as passionately as possible. Here are some tips on helping your toddler get into his personal groove.
(Almost) Anything goes. Colouring inside the lines is way overrated, Mom.Encourage art for the sake of the process, not the product; the same goes for music. Scribbling madly and singing off-key should make you grin with pride. It’s all about breaking new ground and at this age, there’s just no wrong way to do that.
Encourage a mess. Sure, there will be crayons strewn about, paint splattered all over, little pieces of construction paper scattered throughout the room, smears of clay and tiny marker marks all over his fingers — but that’s all part of making art. Take reasonable precautions (a designated art area and smock should do), and teach your child that cleaning up is also part of the creative process.
Be a mentor, not a critic. Respect and encourage your child’s vision, offering (very limited) advice only when he solicits it. The fact that his artwork or performance may not be aesthetically pleasing to you is beside the point. Your role is facilitator, cheerleader, and all-around studio assistant.
Expose your budding artist to the arts. Brief visits to museums and galleries, age-appropriate concerts, plays, puppet shows, and dance performances help foster an appreciation for the arts (for the both of you!). Remember, creativity exists all around us so keep an eye out for opportunities to point it out whenever and wherever you see it.