We commonly think about creativity as the colors someone chooses for a painting or a drawing. But having creativity goes beyond just choosing colors, it’s also a way of thinking, solving problems, and applying knowledge.

Experts say creativity is ageless and timeless, but, more importantly, creativity can be acquired and fostered! From their earliest days, kids respond to contrasts, colors, sounds, and movements. How they integrate these various experiences will influence their development, especially in how they acquire their creativity. When creativity is fostered in the early years it can bring tons of benefits. A study made at UNC-Chapel Hill found that kids’ imagination and creativity specifically helped them to cope with pain. Creativity also helps children to be more confident, develop social skills, and learn more.

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You can foster creativity at home in different ways. Here are a few things you should try with your little one:

1. Practice physical skills. By learning to move, grasp objects, and other physical skills your little one will learn about his world, thereby promoting his cognitive development. This is one of the primary ways he will develop new ways of thinking, engaging, discovering, and solving problems. What to do? Playing with toys such as blocks, rings, cups, or even objects that make interesting sounds will ignite your child’s curiosity, and help with his motor skills.

2. Enhance his senses. When kids have diverse opportunities to explore through their senses, they view exploration as fun and that helps them become even more creative later on. What to do? You can try different things like playing with textures, music, and even food! Thinking outside the box will be fun!

3. Pretend play. Allow your child an expressive outlet for his thoughts, feelings, wishes, and creativity with pretend playWhat to do? Challenge his new representational abilities: have him hop like a bunny, roar like a lion, or get more abstract and see if he can become a kite or a balloon that’s too full and slowly lets all the air out!

4. Read books. Books will not only enhance your child’s language skills, they will also help him discover new worlds and boost his creativity! What to do? Try to make a habit out of reading by including it in your daily routine. A great thing to do is getting used to reading a bedtime story. Choose books with creative plot lines so that your child’s imagination flourishes.

5. Get artsy. Art is one the simplest (and more fun) ways to let imagination and creativity flow. It is important to give your little one free reign over his work. That way, he can be more creative! What to do? Let your little one’s imagination go wild, try painting, drawing, building, and even sculpting with playdough! Don’t force him to do things certain way, instead let him explore and play freely.

Want to know more about creativity and how to enhance it? Check out these links: