I’m often amazed by the creativity that my daughters display. I love these ideas from Modernize for encouraging creativity in children while also curtailing the messes. I’ve been thinking about the first idea for quite a while, actually—especially now that we have our own home.
So often, the greatest barrier to encouraging creativity in children is that creativity—true, unencumbered, and free—can be, well, a little messy and a little overwhelming for parents who feel less than creative. Creating an inspired space made for creative play isn’t just better for your kitchen table but fosters problem-solving, flexibility, and social development in your kids.
Here are a few tips for keeping your home under control while your children’s imaginations run wild.
Art Walls Encourage Creativity in Children
Not all drawing projects are structured, nor should they be. To save your floors from a reams of scribbled-upon paper, choose one wall in your playroom and paint it with either chalkboard or dry-erase board paint—no-VOC paint is our favorite choice here at Modernize, in order to cut down on harmful compounds.
If you have rough-textured walls, you’ll want to smooth them out a bit first. Even the smoothest walls may take a couple coats, but when you’re done, your children will be wowed by the expanse on which they can create. When children feel less restricted spatially, their imaginations will be less confined, too.
If painting the walls just doesn’t appeal to you, or if you’re using a less dedicated space for your playroom, you can purchase large acrylic-coated boards at nearly any home improvement store to hang on the walls. A favorite of parents and teachers alike, these wall boards are intended for use in showers or utility rooms but make excellent dry-erase boards.
As an added bonus, hang a few empty frames on the wall for those moments when your children want to experience their art on display.
Children, especially very young children, often enjoy sorting objects, which invigorates creative thinking and works out problem-solving skills. Instead of packing away art supplies, blocks, and other creative play toys out of sight, organize your playroom in such a way as to encourage your children’s participation in keeping it neat while activating fun.
Hang small, open buckets or baskets from the wall at kid-height that children can access easily both before and after play. Write the name of the item in large letters on the front of the container—or an example or a picture of the item that belongs inside for younger kids. For particularly crafty parents, you can create a tube-depository system using PVC pipe that will allow children to race items to the finish.
Low-Tech Reading Nook
Keeping your child’s creative place mostly tech-free gives both you and your children, especially the older ones, a safe space to relax and take in information a slower pace—a process that itself inspires creative output. Line the walls in this corner of the room with snug magazine racks in place of bookshelves to save space. Provide plenty of soft seating in the form of floor pillows or beanbags to give kids a place to curl up and read.
For kids who like to track their accomplishments, keep a reading chart of all the books they’ve read each month.
As an added bonus, a reading nook gives the whole family place for story time, too. You can gather around a tissue paper campfire, sharing stories you make up on the spot. Have some lap desks or clipboards handy, along with an index box full of cards with writing prompts for older children to snuggle in and begin composing their own stories.
Whether your children’s play area is in a corner of the family room or takes up the largest room in the house, the benefits of giving your kids permission to express themselves and practice creative skills will last them a lifetime.
How do you create spaces to encourage creativity in children? What are your kids’ favourite creative activities?
This post was provided by Kelley Walters for Modernize. All photos courtesy of Modernize.