Children have wonderful imaginations and
are capable of entertaining themselves, and us, for hours at a time. However,
they slowly lose this ability as we send them to school and train them to be
Watching lots of TV, playing on computers
and spending less time just playing has also had an affect on how creative
children are as they reach their teens and twenties.
As creativity is an important part of
problem solving and pleasure, it is worth doing what we can to enhance
childrenís creativity. Here are some simple tactics to assist you in this
Do jigsaw puzzles with them. To
complete the puzzle, children have to visualise pieces from different angles
and look for the big picture as well. Make sure you select puzzles that are
challenging but over difficult for the childís development.
a huge array of Australian and educational puzzles, whilst
Dee toys has puzzles with 3 pieces up to 1,000.
Constructions toys are great for
coordination and dexterity, but they are very dependant on imagination and
visualisation. Use a mixture of constructions toys rather than providing only
one style. Some examples are
modelling clay, wooden
Lots of opportunities to draw and
paint can only build creativity Ė and the less structured the better. Children
love making their mark on paper so it doesnít have to represent anything real.
You can give them
paints and many other art materials.
Donít limit children to painting or
drawing on pieces of paper. Give them some
markers and a tee shirt, tea towel, cap or other piece of cloth and let
them create unique clothing theyíll be proud to wear.
paints can take children into other worlds where their imaginations rule.
Whether itís a fancy design that resembles a tiger, fairy or pirate, or just
colours splashed on their faces, children are excited by experimenting with
different looks and being different characters. Older children will also have
fun doing the painting.
is a great addition to a childís art tools. Different muscles are used when
painting/drawing on an easel compared to on a table and this helps develop
skills required for learning to write. Itís even better if they have an easel
where they can do multiple activities Ė i.e. if the board has a chalkboard or
whiteboard as well as holding paper.
Wearing dress ups allows children to
explore different roles and act out things they are trying to understand. The
best dress ups are those that can be used for many roles, such as a cape can
belong to Little Red Riding Hood, a witch, a hobbit or a wizard and a tulle
skirt could be worn by a fairy, princess, Lady or dancer. Pee
Dee toys and
Learning World have a selection of dress ups for you to choose from.
Children need to be creative and
imaginative to play with
control cars and even
slot cars. Give them
some floor space, a patch of lawn or a pile of dirt and they can make up their
own stories. Allow them to use stones, chunks of wood and the like to make
roads and ramps and just let them go!
Although children will make up games
from nothing, sometimes it is worthwhile prompting them with role playing
props, such as
Dolls and doll houses are
also great for encouraging
make believe games - but why
not add in a
motor home for more
finger puppets, with or
are fantastic for imagination. Children can re use the puppets over and over to
create different characters and stories. Puppets can be used to express things
children canít say for themselves and also be a means of letting children build
confidence by putting on puppet shows. And creating their own puppets only adds
to the fun and benefits.
Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner
of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any
business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see
her site and services at