Creativity is not just about being able to draw or paint or write or sing. Creativity is about being able to deal with difficult and unexpected situations in new and innovative ways. While some students only have one set way of dealing with a specific challenge, creative students think “what are the different ways I can approach this?” Because of this, creativity isn’t just a skill that is useful for subjects such as Art or English; even creative students will naturally have an advantage when it comes to subjects like Mathematics, due to their ability to be flexible and approach a problem from a number of different angles.

So, how can you help your child develop their own creativity?

The key to creativity is the ability to deal with challenges. The best thing you can do to raise a creative child is to present them with fun challenges, set constraints, push them out of their comfort zone and give them obstacles to overcome. Here are some ideas for some fun challenges that you can use in everyday situations to develop your child’s ability to think creatively.

When writing…

If your child enjoys creative writing, push them outside their comfort zones by setting them challenges. For example, ask them to write a story that has to use 5 words (fire, uncomfortable, loud, lost and triangle, for example), ask them to write a poem made purely out of words they can find in a newspaper or magazine, or ask them to write a poem that has exactly 111 words.

When cooking…

If your child enjoys cooking, engage their creative side by setting fun challenges. Put away the recipe book and give your child 5 ingredients that they have to turn into a meal. This can be a fun and practical way of teaching your child how to adapt flexibly to an unfamiliar situation.

When travelling…

If you are going on a holiday or a camping trip, use it as an opportunity to develop your child’s lateral thinking skills. Encourage them to look at maps, plan potential walking routes, plan schedules, make lists of essential things you will need, and think of the most efficient way of packing their suitcase. They won’t even know how much they are learning while having a great experience.

When relaxing…

The newspaper is filled with word puzzles, Sudokus and cryptic crosswords that will encourage your child to develop their lateral thinking skills. These activities are great alternative to watching TV or playing video games on a lazy Sunday morning. If your child is interested in learning more about how to solve tricky cryptic crossword clues, check out this website.

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