Computers and video games can provide a lot of excitement for kids looking to have fun, but they are both very passive activities. To encourage creativity in the developing mind kids should occasionally take part in some kind of active, artistic activities. So next time you are trying to think of something to occupy your son or daughters time during school holidays or on the weekend, perhaps steer your thoughts away from computer games (hard, we know!) and focus on some pastimes that make use of their inventive minds.
Building towers and houses and cities using toy blocks like Lego or Duplo is a fun way to encourage different ways of thinking, you might even find that you have a future architect on your hands. Collecting flowers and learning about nature – bird watching or going to the zoo – are experiences that fewer and fewer children are having these days and should not be overlooked as a fantastic way to introduce kids to the wider world around us.
More openly artistic hobbies that you and your child will have fun doing together include drawing, painting, sculpting, baking, creating new recipes and making music. Music has the added advantage of being easily listened to during any of the other activities that you are doing together. A school holiday’s activity that will leave lasting memories with your son or daughter and a lasting impression on all the other parents when your kid goes back to school is custom t-shirt design. Do some drawings together then scan them into your computer and upload them onto a printing website that allows you to print your own designs to shirts. Get two printed! Get one in your size for you and one in a child’s size for the young artist. These can also make for unforgettable Christmas or birthday gifts to a brother or sister, other parent, aunt or uncle, cousin or grandparent.
Kids love scavenger hunts. If you can get together a parents group and arrange for a scavenger hunt to take place at the house that has the biggest backyard, the young ones just won’t know how to stop thanking you. Leaving clues that lead to prizes will unquestionably develop the lateral thinking and problem solving skills that will come in handy in high school and adulthood.
Additionally, if your little ones have a keen interest in cinema, you should consider investing in a digital video camera and some basic video editing software. As film making is a collaborative pursuit, it will teach them how to work effectively with others. A fun way to display the work of the young directors and actors is to hold a mini-film festival over the course of a day. Have the kids write and direct 5 minute videos and show them how to edit them and have a screening for family and friends that evening.
There are many ways that children can film their time and we have only covered a small handful of the ‘creative’ pursuits, to come up with others why not use your own creative streak, it’s a lot of fun.