A toddler might be happy banging the kitchen utensils or playing silly games with you, but a preschooler needs something more substantial to develop his creative skills. Creativity helps in developing cognitive and multi-sensory skills, and offers them opportunities for brain development and self-expression. With so many benefits to it, it becomes imperative that parents encourage their preschoolers to discover their creative and artistic passion.
So, how do you encourage your preschooler to develop his creative and artistic skills? Learn through this simple guide.
Drawing and Painting
Instead of giving your child picture books for colouring where his creativity gets inhibited by the pre-drawn pictures, give him a few blank papers. Encourage him to draw anything that takes his fancy. This will help him to express himself without any fears and inhibitions. Also, let him experiment with the colours of his choice. So a leaf needn’t always be green or the sun needn’t be only yellow.
Let him indulge in some finger painting. Yes, it's messy, but it’s also a great way to develop sensory skills in your child.
Craft activities encourage kids to experiment with a variety of shapes and textures. It helps in developing fine motor skills. Prepare a ‘busy box’ for your child. A busy box is nothing but a collection of knickknacks that interests your child’s creative eye. The things in it need not be expensive, but collected from various places as and when you chance upon them. It could contain things like coloured paper, buttons, sketch-pens, glitter, cotton wool, strings, tissue papers, toilet rolls, pastas, play dough, etc.
Encourage your child to discover new ways of playing with them. Show him some pictures of animals/things for him to get an idea. Intervene if you realize that your child is stuck at some point.
Role Play Activities
Role play helps kids in understanding the world around them and dealing with any specific fears. For example, if your child is afraid of ghosts, dress him up in a white flowing robe with a mask. When your child realizes that it’s nothing but imagination, his fear will soon disappear. Make finger puppets for your child and ask him to weave stories around them. Be prepared to be surprised by your child’s vivid imagination.
Music and Dance
Sing nursery rhymes with your child and ask him to act as per the rhymes. For example, ‘wheels on the bus’, ‘we are going to the market, we are going to the fair’ etc. are popular action rhymes that teach your child to move on the words.
Put on some music and let your child dance on it. It’s a good form of exercise for your child too.
How to help your preschoolers?
- Kids love to work in their own time and space. Once your preschooler knows that he is free to explore and is not needed to conform to anyone’s ideas, it will help him in touching the spontaneous and creative side of his personality.
- Hovering around your child might make him conscious and stifle his creativity. However, do step in from time to time to check on him.
- In order to encourage your child, create a display gallery in his room where you showcase his work of art. This will make him feel proud of his accomplishment.
- Always praise your child for his work even though it might not be perfect. Remember, your kind words will encourage him to strive better. On the other hand, your criticism might put him off entirely.
- Refrain from rewards and bribes. If you need to bribe your child to indulge in art and craft activities, then it doesn’t serve the purpose. Also, rewarding your child with a chocolate or gift every time he finishes an activity is not a good practice either. It restricts his ability to think creatively.
- Avoid doing the work yourself or offering too much help. However, you might need to show him how to use a certain product or play in different ways with the same toy.
- Do not insist on finishing a task. Instead, concentrate on his learning process which happens during the activity itself. When a child is expected to focus on the end result, it limits his learning and self-expression.
It is imperative that you coax and nudge your child into getting creative. Every child is born with a special talent; the only aspect is that it is hidden. Therefore, it is the parent's responsibility to recognise and bring out the latent talent of the kid.