Creativity in children

Creativity is a means of self-expression, an act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality.  It helps boost one’s confidence, relieves stress and enhances personal growth. Children are naturally creative and they need to be given an outlet for exploring this creative side of theirs. We, as parents need to give them the freedom, the materials and the space and let them blossom. They will try doing new things, once, twice, many times. They may or may not succeed in their attempts, but they will learn from the mistakes they make and this learning will stay with them. Do not discourage them. Don’t compare them with anyone else Let them climb up the ladder slowly and steadily.

In the past two years, children have definitely been missing out on creative learning. Schools have moved online and the students have not been able to interact with their teachers or their classmates in the same manner as they would have been, if they had been going to school. There, they would have been engaged in some group activity, made up charts to put in the classroom or practiced for some special assembly. All that has come to a stop now. Being with friends has a huge positive impact on mental health, brings about happiness and joy and relieves loneliness.

The Covid-19 scenario has pushed us all indoors. The easiest thing for children to do is to reach out to the phone or laptop, play some games or watch something. These gadgets can provide some relief but their lives should not revolve around them. We need to strike a balance by getting the child involved in different activities that may be of interest to him/her. Don’t push them to do anything and everything, keep their skill level and interests in mind.

Art and craft activities like drawing, painting, clay modelling, origami not only nurture your child’s creativity, they also help them focus and pay attention to details. They further improve their colour sense and hand-eye coordination.

Make reading a daily habit, maybe a bedtime ritual. Read out stories to the younger ones. Older children can be encouraged to read out to you. Keep a dictionary near them so that they can look up the meanings of the difficult words. Discuss the characters in the book. Ask what the child would have done in a similar situation. Reading fuels your child’s imagination and further helps them improve their vocabulary, their storytelling and their writing skills.

Get your child involved in helping with cooking and other chores around the house. Children can help with washing and cutting vegetables or rolling out their own rotis. They can help lay the table and clear it after the meal. And NO saying, ye to ladka hai, what will he do in the kitchen??? this is equally important for the boys too. The children can also help in cleaning the rooms, folding the laundry. They are in this process learning something, being occupied and away from gadgets. It will help them become more independent, confident and self-sufficient.

Thinking activities like Jigsaw puzzles, Word games, Crossword puzzles, Sudoku help boost your child’s logical and reasoning skills.

Children will have a great learning experience while having fun when engaged in gardening. Planting seeds and watching them grow gives a sense of purpose. You will hear them talking for long about the flowers they help grow. One can maintain a kitchen garden and teach them about different plants and vegetables at the same time.

Encourage your child to turn on their favourite music, sing and dance along. Get on the floor to sing and dance with your children. You can even make this an exercise routine which will be beneficial to you as well. You will be making priceless memories.

From board games to card games, from antakshari to dumb charades. There are numerous games one can play together as a family.  Spending time together, having some fun, helps strengthen the parent-child connection. Celebrate festivals and occasions together. Grandparents at home can also guide the children towards these celebrations. Teach the children the importance of these festivals, get them involved in decorating the house. The past two years have been full of online birthday parties and this has brought the extended families closer.

The children can be encouraged to maintain a Diary. Here they can note down whatever comes to their mind. It could be something they have enjoyed doing during the day, some lines that they have thought of. It’s not possible to remember so much over time and this diary will serve as a good reference source on a later date. Who knows, maybe they dish out some short stories or poems in this way.

The internet is both a boon and a bane. For slightly older kids who are able to absorb and understand online courses, a balance between such activities online and at home needs to be arrived at. Many children have been able to do short term courses, internships online. They have been able to volunteer with NGOs and coordinated for help during the pandemic times. This gives them a sense of goodness, of having contributed (in a small way) in giving back to the society. It further helps widen their horizon and builds their portfolio. The gadget is not our enemy, we only need to use it judiciously.

The education system needs to move away from rote learning. More practical knowledge needs to be provided. A few suggestions for that would be-

Children need to be taught how to write out a cheque, a pay in slip, understand about bank interest rates. Habit of saving needs to be inculcated in them. Open a bank account for them, encourage them to deposit money and see it grow.

They need to be taught how to act in cases of emergencies such as earthquakes, fire, getting locked in a car or in a lift. These are all very essential tools for survival.

Emergency CPR techniques is something every child and adult should be taught. God forbid if one is put in such a situation, they should know how to handle it.

RWA’s should take up the initiative of each one, teach one. The children should also be involved in it. They could teach a kid younger to them or they could collectively hold classes for the children of the house help, the guards, gardener etc.

Remember! Kids learn a lot from what they see around them. You are their role model. So be mindful and be an inspiration to your kids.

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