An environment that encourages creativity can instill thinking habits that will benefit your child through a lifetime. Here are some ways you can provide a creativity-enhancing environment for your family:
Make your home a free-idea zone
Establish an environment in which family members feel comfortable expressing ideas, talking about dreams, and imagining the impossible without fear of censure. A home in which making mistakes is viewed as part of a learning process frees everyone to express themselves. This attitude of acceptance is the fertile ground in which creative thinking grows.
Look like an artist
With practice, your children can become careful observers. In your daily routine or when you're out walking with your kids, get into the habit of looking at things the way a painter does. Trees aren't simply green; they have several shades of green, yellows, even purples and browns. Look closely at objects you see - grains in wood, hairs in a dog's fur, light reflecting off a metal pole - and notice how many colors and textures really are there.
Open the world
Creativity is often inspired by exposure to new things. Be sure your children have library cards. Help them find books and other media that allow them to explore ideas that arise from what they see. "Let's look it up online or at the Library" should be a common response in your house.
Walk in different shoes
When you read with your children, ask them occasionally to imagine being in someone else's place. What do you think it would feel like to be lost? What do you suppose a frog does first thing in the morning? Looking at events from a new point of view encourages us to see possibilities we had never imagined.
Write about it
Use these ideas and experiences as writing prompts. Encourage your children to write a description of what they saw, heard, and felt or make up a story of their own. Contact the Literacy and Language Center at (415) 242-1205 to find out more about how we can help your child succeed.