Post by Michelle of Avery and Augustine
What’s one of the best ways to foster creativity in your kids? Give them free time. Tons of it. Many early childhood experts agree that free time, clear of scheduled activities and lessons, is essential to a healthy, balanced childhood. Free, unstructured time gives your kids an opportunity to wonder, daydream and be resourceful with the toys and materials they have in their immediate environment. In essence, it allows them to be creative and innovative. Downtime gives children a chance to be initiators as well—ideas come to mind, percolate as they play and then are worked out and re-worked as part of the creative process. Children have a sense of ownership when they’ve thought of something on their own, which contributes to them being confident in their abilities.
Another way to help your children be creative: provide open-ended toys for them, like blocks and this modular dollhouse. What are some of the benefits of playing with open-ended toys like blocks? They teach children that it’s okay to fail. Children get to try out simple design principles or ideas. When a design or structure doesn’t work out, kids will try a different way, again and again, until they get their desired result and find a solution. They are working through the problem-solving and trial-and-error process, both of which are so important for learning to figure things out all throughout life as a learning individual in school and later as an adult in the workplace. They also come to realize that their ideas have value and they see themselves as competent individuals.
Blocks are also tools for pretend play, which is an integral part of early childhood, linked to learning language and so many other important life skills. Childhood is a time to play!
Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending the items for this post.