Creative Child

Parenting: Old-fashioned Ways to Raise Creative Children

by Nicole Dean

Take a stroll through any toy store and you will be bombarded with walls and walls of toys that are just plain LOUD. These toys all require batteries, most have blinding, pulsating lights, some have well-known characters molded or stamped into them, and they all assault the senses.


So, what happens to those of us who want to raise children with imagination and curiosity? We make a choice. We fill our houses with some good old fashioned toys to counteract all the technology our children will be faced with day after day. Let's start out with these old fashioned parenting basics.

Kitchen Play - If you look around your kitchen right now, you'll probably see quite a few plastic utensils that could be pretty fun in the bathtub. Or, you may want to take a stroll through a thrift shop and pick up a supply of plastic bowls, cups, and utensils at a reasonable price. Fill the tub with water, add some plastic containers, and your child will play "cooking" until they get pruny. Add some bubbles, and they can imagine they're whipping up batter for a cake. Yummy!


Building with Blocks and Legos - Children of all ages are fascinated by Legos and blocks. When your child sits down in the middle of a pile of blocks, the imagination can run wild. You may notice that some of the most unusual bridges, towers, cities, or even monsters start to appear. For the very young child, the simple building of a tower of blocks, knocking it down, and building it again, can keep them occupied for hours, screaming and giggling the whole time. For the older child, building a city or complicated structure takes concentration and imagination. They're not only being creative, but also learning patience and improving their small-motor skills. After your child has completed a structure, sit down and ask about it. What's its name? What are the people like in the new city? Is the city on earth or on another planet? Ask your child to describe what a day is like in this new city. This can be a learning experience that's invaluable as well as fun.


Create Hand Puppets - There are all sorts of ways to create simple puppets. Your child can draw features they like on an old sock and it becomes a sock puppet. A pile of popsicle sticks can become a family of puppets when faces are drawn, cloth is glued on for clothes, and yarn is glued on for hair. You can even use an old pair of gloves. Just cut off the fingers of the glove and decorate to look like people, aliens, monsters, or animals. Your child's imagination will run wild if you just get out the box of materials needed. Then, it will be time for you to sit down and enjoy the show!

Story Telling with Felt Story Boards - Telling stories is another way for children to use their imagination and creativity. A story board is easy to set up and use, even for the youngest storyteller. You can buy a Story Board at a craft store or in the educational toys section your favorite store.

Don't have all the supplies for these games, try these super simple imagination games.

How to make a board continued on next page...

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