I am a firm believer (and a perfect example) that you don’t have to be “artistic” to enjoy creating art with your kids. When you focus on experimenting and enjoying the process, art time becomes much less intimidating.
That being said, creativity is more than making art. It’s experimenting, problem solving, and thinking outside the box. Through creative exploration, children can take risks, make mistakes, and practice perseverance.
Here are 8 activities to exercise those creative-thinking skills, with no crayons or paints in sight:
1. Play with toys in unusual ways. Try building with Legos in a tub filled with water, or underwater building in the bathtub.
2. Create your own game, or combine two games into one. Make up your own rules and have a bucket of extra game pieces (dice, spinners, timers, pawns, etc.) for on-the-fly game creation.
3. Have a create-your-own-sandwich bar, with an assortment of breads, spreads, and toppings. Take photos and create unique names for your creations.
4. Use the dress-up bin and everyone’s closets to create crazy super-hero costumes. What is your super power?
5. Build ramps with things around the house – blocks, cardboard, couch cushions, etc. Experiment with ways to make your toy cars go faster or farther.
6. Perform a puppet show or act out a favorite story.
7. Make up a song or dance and perform it for your family. Record your performance, too, if you like.
8. Redecorate or rearrange a room (or part of a room). Carve out a reading corner, hang some new artwork, gather items for a nature table, or set-up a bird-watching station.
And a bonus one: Allow for generous amounts of unstructured, child-directed play time. As the wonderful Fred Rogers said, “Play is not trivial. When children play, they’re doing important work.”
Everyday Art :: Greater Good
How to…Invent a Recipe with Kids :: Tinker Lab
10 Simple Ways to Raise Creative Kids :: Kiwi Crate
Creativity Matters (Free eBook) :: Not Just Cute
How do you or your kids like to be creative? What activity makes you stretch and take risks?