Creative Child

5 Ways to Encourage Creativity Through Play

by Rebecca Eanes

Creativity is on the decline, and the reduction of free play is at least partly to blame. According to American psychologist, Peter Gray, free play has declined sharply over the last century, and with it the mental health of children and adolescents has also declined. To add to this sobering news, Kyung Hee Kim's research has concluded that "children have become less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle." According to Kim's research, all aspects of creativity have declined.

Each of us can make a positive difference in reversing this disturbing trend by providing free play and encouraging creativity. Parenting in the new age does not have to follow this trend.

Here are 5 Parenting Tips for ways you can encourage creativity.

1. Provide free, unstructured, child-directed play on a regular basis.

Directed play, such as sports, isn't nearly as beneficial as when adults step back and let children take the lead. Allowing outdoor play as much as possible with other children will help them learn social, cognitive, creative, and physical skills that will be highly beneficial throughout their lives.

2. Make creative spaces in your home.

An art corner, a reading or writing nook and a block station are a few ideas that will invite your child to be freely creative.

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