Friday, April 10, 2009

How Do You Encourage Creativity In A Child?

I find that KokoD has quite a creative mind. He is able to fill his time with legos, blocks, workbooks, drawing, sometimes reading, computer games, cycling and other stuff without bothering me much. I like how he occupies his time independently.

A friend of mine graciously gave us a set of big blocks and I thought the kids would be bored with it after a while. But they still take it out to play occasionally and haven't abandoned it. KokoD really does a better job than me at creating things. He makes robots from his legos. He made a helicopter and airplane with the big blocks. I caught him making this a few weeks ago:

So, how do you encourage creativity in a child?
  • I'm no expert but I believe having time for free play is important.
  • Also giving them toys and tools that encourage them to create like legos and blocks. Not forgetting making readily available lots of recycled paper, stationary and art materials. I really don't fancy toys that require battery and make a lot of noise.
  • In the beginning you may have to spend some time teaching them how to play with the stuff. But you don't need to include a whole lot of instruction. Just show them how to work it / use it / assemble it, give some examples to showcase the many possibilities of what can be created, then let them have fun with it. There is no right or wrong. For example, if they color an apple purple, don't tell them it's wrong.
  • Praise, praise, praise.
  • Show your appreciate their creation. I still keep most of my girl's "cards" and mini books that she made for me. These cards and mini books are really small pieces of paper that she took time to write and decorate. After a while, this bunch of tiny papers will look like junk. But she knows I keep them and that is my way of saying "your work is appreciated." Even taking pictures of what they have done is motivation for them. Sometimes they will make something and run to me shouting "mommy, take a picture of this!" Another thing you can do is hang their creation on the wall or stick it up on the refrigerator. Showcase it.
  • Allow them to observe what you do. Don't chase them away and say they are "disturbing". Yes, they may be disturbing but they are learning too. One way to make them "less disturbing" is to involve them somehow. So, if you are cooking, maybe let them name the ingredients you are using. If you are folding clothes, give them a hankerchief and let them figure out how to fold it. The trick is to keep them occupied with something related to what you are doing but that will also keep them out of your way.
  • Read more books and less television.
Children can be creative if you give them time to be creative. Hope your children are not too busy doing homework or trying to score A's that they have no time to create.


  1. Oooooo.....I LOVED what he's made. I used to play with toy soldiers when I was a kid and I never had those blocks to do that!!! Come to think of it, I don't think I've even seen toy soldiers around of late? Where'd you get them from?

  2. Big Pumpkin:
    I got some at the hypermarkets, but they are the small kind. The ones in the photo are bigger and was given to me by a friend when she migrated. Wah, you also play with soldiers eh?

  3. I love the creativity of blocks too.

    My son's love for cars and blocks lead me to create a wooden race car track system that works like building blocks and are easy enough for a 3 year old to put together. Then, race cars.

    Would anyone reading this blog be interested in offering honest feedback on my creation?

    Our website is: www.stradablox.comThank you,

  4. This is great!

    Thank you for the article.... :)

    I also have made a blog, where I collect now great educative websites for children...

    Maybe you would like to look in....

    I'm still building it, but there are already a lot of great sites for the kids, where they can have fun and learn...


    Nuh (a mum of a 4 years old girl)


Don't go without saying something. I would love to read your comments. BUT no junk comments please.