Art is an essential way for children to begin to express themselves. The precursor to reading and writing is the understanding that a symbol can represent something else. The tactile aspect of painting, drawing, and kneading also provide important sensory and fine motor opportunities.

For many years, people seemed to assume that creativity was a talent that some people possessed more than others. Watching children draw and paint, we see that creativity is something that can be nurtured and developed. Here are 3 simple strategies, to help foster and celebrate your child’s creative side, in the playroom and in life.

1. Keep things open-ended: Rather than providing coloring books or art kits with pictures of the final product, put out materials with no clear end point. Have white or lined paper readily available and place an art caddy on the table with colored pencils, ball point pens, dot markers and crayons. This will help make a great starting point. As children grow up, they can lose themselves in the creative process for longer periods of time. You will be amazed by their ideas and creativity.

2. Talk about the process: Educators today talk a lot about executive functioning, or how individuals organize as they move through tasks. Going through a creative process gives children opportunities to practice this in a meaningful way. When you talk with your children about what they’ve created, they reflect on their work and come to value their efforts and choices.

3. Display your Children’s Artwork: Celebrate your children’s creativity by displaying their artwork! Having a designated place for ongoing daily art work (a storage bin or container) and a place to display special masterpieces. When we celebrate each child’s hard work and creativity, it naturally encourages children to create more.

 

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