Little kids are absolute sponges when it comes to learning - and they learn just by playing! It’s so important therefore to have items that encourage creative play in children, and that’s doubly so when it comes to instilling a love of the arts in our little ones.
Why is a love of the arts so important for kids?
Creativity is the baseline for almost anything a child could experience in life. It’s essential for problem-solving, resilience and adapting to an anything-but-linear human experience. Teaching them to appreciate art for art’s sake also encourages exploration, self-expression, logical thinking, open thinking, self-esteem, tolerance of difference, and the courage to take risks.
What kind of creative play will help broaden their arts horizons?
Make the most out of those crucial learning years with open-ended art activities they can’t help but enjoy. Get stuck in with them and demonstrate the joy that creating and appreciating art can bring.
- Creating your own picture books
- Painting self-portraits
- Colouring to music
- Concentrating on textures by making a collage of household items
- Encouraging unrestricted art play with abundant craft pieces
- Making creative role-play toys the first ones you motivate the children to play with. Try toy cameras, building and construction tools, and baking/decorating sets.
How to build the perfect environment to encourage creative play
Having a place conducive to easy art-making is key when it comes to encouraging creativity and creative play. Make sure your home is always stocked with pencils, pens, paper, paint, brushes, scissors, glue and anything else that your child can physically use, create, break and re-create with their hands. It’s a wonderful way for them to express themselves.
Expose your kids to art both at home and on outings. Play music, visit galleries and public sculptures, see shows, hang their paintings and discuss the importance these things have in our lives. Talk about the art your children make and ask them open-ended questions about what they have created and how they did it. Deconstruct (in an age-appropriate way) the art you see and the inspiration that could possibly be behind it.
Modelling is an incredibly effective behaviour modifier, and this is also true for encouraging creativity. If your children see you appreciating art and being creative yourself, they are more likely to absorb and exhibit these traits.