Guest post by Susan Connolly
It is important for children to nurture and expand their creative skills. These abilities will help them to improve their mental capabilities, making it easier for them to solve problems. Of course, as parents are well aware, it isn’t all that easy to foster creativity in children.
This is largely due to the type of toys and tools available for kids today. Many of these tend to contain just a few functions. Thus, when your children have exhausted these features, they will no longer be challenged.
What you should be selecting instead are simple, open-ended products. These have multiple uses and can encourage your little ones to get creative with very little effort. Not to mention, they can be used for an unspecified period of time!
Of course, selecting these products can be a little tricky, especially if you aren’t certain what it is that you are looking for. Fortunately, there are age-based guides such as https://giftrep.com/gifts-for-9-year-old-girls/ that you can rely on.
For some ideas on just what you should be stocking up, check out what these products can do for your little one’s creativity:
It is possible to wax poetic about the many benefits of playing with building blocks. This tool helps with all sorts of skills including coordination. However, what blocks are best known for is encouraging creative play. To begin with, it shows kids how to figure out concepts such as weight, shape, and stability all by themselves.
At the same time, blocks allow your little own to build anything they want. When they are younger, playing with this product may simply involve stacking items on top of each other. However, as your child grows older, they will move onto constructing buildings and eventually cities!
On a similar note, kinetic sand is also a great creative tool for children of all ages. Once again, children are offered the chance to build virtually anything they want. Since kinetic sand is more flexible, however, kids have the opportunity to construct a greater number of objects.
Furthermore, the nature of kinetic sand makes it simpler for older kids to add details to their buildings or objects. So, as they learn more about the world around them, they can include it in their playtime as well. This sand lets kids add entirely new details as well and allows them to experiment with any design and feather that they please.
As you can imagine, artistic capabilities are a large part of being creative. Therefore, it makes sense that crayons are an integral part of your kid’s toy box. What’s great about crayons is that they allow kids to put down their ideas or thoughts.
So, while it may seem like just a bunch of scribbles to you, it represents something rather important to them. This is what is so wonderful about this product. It gives children their first taste of trying to bring their ideas into the real world. However, they are able to do this is in a colorful and fun manner.
Clay permits kids to unleash their artistic capabilities in a slightly different manner. Here, children are able to give their ideas a three-dimensional twist. So, not only are they having fun with squishy, sensory dough, they also gain an understanding of how to effectively recreate their ideas.
In terms of experimenting and becoming more creative, kids can mix and mash colors together to form different shades. They will also learn that rolling, twisting, or squishing the clay in a particular way will result in different textures and dimensions.
Now, on the surface, products such as pretend kitchens, grocery stores, or other playsets may seem like close-ended toys. This is because you imagine that they can serve only one function. However, if you check on how your child plays with such products, you will understand that this is not the case.
See, playsets act like mediums for your kid’s imagination. Thus, they are able to use them in a variety of ways. Every time they play with their playset, they will use it a little differently. This shows kids that a particular set of tools or toys can be used in a myriad of ways.
While you are at it, why not get your kids an occupational kit as well? These can range from doctor and vet kits all the way up to chef and mechanical kits. What makes these products so special is that they come with a variety of tools, but no instructions. This means that your kids have to puzzle out what each tool does.
As you can imagine, in many instances, they will end up getting quite creative with how to use a single tool. They will use it in various, unusual manners to perform various tasks. This fosters creative thinking and unique problem-solving skills as well.
Stuffed animals aren’t just a staple in every child’s bedroom. They also are an excellent representative for imaginative play. This is because, to your little one, they can take on any role that they need. Thus, your child is able to act out all of those different scenarios in their heads.
It is more than just reenacting imaginary scenes, however. Most kids will have their stuffed animals “talk” to one another. This allows them to come up with creative dialogue as well. What’s more, your child is also tasked with coming up with the back-and-forth conversations that take place between the toys as well.
Is your child a performer? Then, there is no need for them to keep their stories to themselves – you can help to put their creativity on the big stage. Well, at the very least, on the puppet stage. While creativity should certainly be allowed to run its course, it can also be a good idea to direct it a little sometimes. This makes it easier for kids to get certain results from their creative play.
Now, one of the best ways to do this is with a puppet theater. This is because, on the one hand, you are giving your children a creative outlet. At the same time, they have to create specific storylines or plots if they want their audience to follow along with them. In this way, they learn how to be a little more structured in certain areas of their creative play.
Dress Up Clothes
It is also useful for kids to learn how to “become” other people as well. This is a skill that is especially utilized by writers, screenwriters, and numerous other creative individuals. While kids are perfectly capable of taking on other personas all by themselves, it can help them to have the right tools.
In particular, costumes and other dress-up clothes can be an excellent way for kids to really embody different roles. Once upon a time, children might have had to rely on old clothing and pretend that they were costumes. These days, though, it is possible to find different kits so that your children can really bring their personas to life.
Kids are often fond of creating their own little worlds. In many instances, however, they prefer to do it smaller, enclosed spaces. This is partly because it is easier for them to imagine that they are in a completely different place or time. Furthermore, these little hideaways are also great places for them to avoid the prying eyes of adults.
If you want to create such a space for your child, buy them a tent. These come in all shapes and sizes and can provide your child with just the right amount of solitude for them to get creative. Some of them even have themes in case there is a particular scenario that your little one likes to act over and over again.
Now, this may seem like an unusual product to place on a list. Nevertheless, it is one of the best open-ended toys out there. This is especially true for very young children. In short, this is because a cardboard box can be anything that your child wants it to be. This includes a car, spaceship, castle – anything at all.
In fact, it is the blandness of this product that really helps your child’s creative juices to get flowing. Best of all, they are unlikely to get tired of it since there are so many different ways that they can play with it. Now, while your child shouldn’t only be given cardboard boxes to play with, make sure that there are at least a few lying around at all times. At the very least, they will make excellent props.
These are the top simple products that you should use to encourage your child’s creative skills. So, rather than spending money on complex, over-the-top items, opt for the most basic ones. You will be surprised at just how much more innovative and engaged your child will be. Go ahead and give it a try today – your child will certainly be better off for it!