Preschoolers are naturally creative. They imagine, fantasize, explore,
investigate, create and find new uses for just about everything
they encounter. The problem has never been how to get young children
to be creative. The problem has always been how to nurture this
skill rather than squelch it. As adults we have structured our lives
into set patterns. Are we too set in our ways to allow first explorations
and new approaches to things from our children?
Below are some tips for parents on nurturing creativity in their
- ALLOW RISKS - We need to allow young children to be able to
take some risks, to make mistakes and thus learn through them.
Does your child know that sometimes it's ok to be different, that
it's ok for them to take chances?
- ENCOURAGE CHOICES - We need to provide our children with opportunities
to make choices and to solve problems. We can encourage inventive
solutions to problems and support different ways to do things.
Is it ok in your house to use ordinary things in unusual ways?
Do you encourage your children to make up "what if"
- ALLOW DAYDREAMING - We need to provide opportunities for young
children to just daydream. Does your child have a place where
he can be quiet and sort through experiences?
- ENCOURAGE CURIOSITY - It is important to encourage children
to be observant, to be curious, to explore and to experiment.
Parents can also encourage creativity by maintaining an appropriate
- SECURITY - Children need to feel secure in their environment
before they can feel comfortable exploring.
- PLAY AREA - Children need a play or "messy" area.
They need a place where it is okay to make a mess, a place that
allows for experimentation.
- OPEN-ENDED TOYS - It is important to surround your child in
their preschool years with open-ended basic toys; such as blocks,
art supplies, puppets, play animals and objects. Toys that can
be instantly converted into whatever your child wants them to
be are much better than toys that can only do and be one thing.