Inspiring Creativity in Young Children

Listen to Inspiring Creativity in Young Children 

Show Notes:

Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create.”
Uchtdorf, “Happiness, Your Heritage,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 117–20

Points discussed in the podcast:

The Power of Improvisation

. . .and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it. (Abraham 3:17)

Improvisation is at the heart of creativity. Not just with music, but with story-invention, art, comedy,

Ideas to promote creative improvisation in young children

  • Find pictures in the clouds
  • Make toys and stuffed animals talk
  • When they want to color, give him a blank page instead of a coloring book
  • Have a storytelling chair, rug, or table
  • Have dances, especially where they come up with their own dance moves

Problem-Solving is also a major aspect of creativity
Ideas to promote problem-solving skills in young children:

  • Don’t volunteer solutions. Wait for her to ask.
  • When she asks for solutions, don’t offer them. Ask her, “What do you think you should do?”
  • If she gets frustrated or can’t find an answer, help her discover clues, hints, or get ideas from other children her age or younger. Don’t let her seek answers from older kids.
  • Offer encouragement. Say, “You can do it! I know you can!”
  • Don’t volunteer ideas—except as a last resort.

Points to keep in mind
This is NOT the age to critique your child’s work. This is the age to praise and motivate. (You aren’t trained for critiquing for most subjects anyway)
Though it’s good to praise your child by saying, “You are so good at. . .” it’s sometimes better to praise his growth and effort by saying something like, “You are learning so much! I love how you work so hard on your picture.” That way the expectation is not in the end product, but in the effort and heart your child put into it.

Other Ideas to Promote Creativity
Let them see you being creative, and let them model what you do (don’t push it on them, just allow them to emulate it). Likewise, color with them. Dance with them, etc.

Give your children opportunities to see close friends and family being creative. Aunts, uncles, cousins, can all be major influences for creativity in kids.

Have creative items around, such as musical instruments, crayons, paper, and so forth. Let your kids help you make meals, plant gardens, and fix things.

Tell kids they are creative, and that they are getting more creative every day. Kids believe almost everything their parents tell them, and when they believe it, they will act on it.

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Chas Hathaway is the author of the books Scripture Study Made Awesome, Marriage is Ordained of God, but WHO Came Up with Dating? and Giraffe Tracks. Learn more at chashathaway.com. Please participate in the conversation by adding comments and sharing with friends on the web!

Gospel Living Made Awesome is not an official work of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If Chas says something stupid, it's his own fault.

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