Inspire Creativity in Your Children

In today’s world, almost every product created for children is just that, already created. The place to grow, imagine and be creative is hard to do when an opportunity isn’t available. A paint by numbers coloring book tells you exactly where to paint and with what colors. Step by step instructions on how you should paint. A doll is already dressed in perfectly matched clothes with matching accessories. A building is already created, all is left is to add your men. The baby toy is complete with flashing lights and songs, colorful ribbons and accessories.

Nothing is wrong with those toys. They are fun and interesting to children and will provide entertainment. But, with those kinds of toys, where is a child allowed to be creative? Is there even an opportunity to be creative? Sure, there might be, but really- look deeper. Look beyond the border. Is it a toy that will create an environment where your child can explore their thinking? Where he can be creative and imaginative?
If you give a child a black sheet of paper and paint, she will be using creativity to figure out where she wants to paint. How she wants to paint. With what colors she wants to paint. She will use her imagination to paint how she feels. Maybe the grass will be purple and the sky will be orange. With a doll that is bare, a child will decide what the doll shall wear. Maybe she wants to wear heels and a swimsuit with a baseball cap. Or perhaps she’ll dress her in a prom dress and make her go swimming.
A doll house you buy tells you how many rooms you will have, the layout of them, and how big they will be. What if you don’t want 7 rooms and two bathrooms? By using wooden blocks your child can create however many rooms she wishes! 12 rooms all on the left with a huge yard in the front. A bathroom outside the house! By presenting an opportunity, you’re allowing creativity and imagination.

As parents, we might see these things as being wrong or out of place. Surely the grass is not purple and a prom dress does not belong in a swimming pool. But that’s okay. Allowing your child to use his or her imagination and explore and create new colors, new wardrobes, new buildings, new games and ideas, is allowing your child to be creative. To figure things out on their own and use their thoughts and imaginations to create, they’re learning and growing in more ways than one.
As far as toys go, I really believe that less is more. Lucas is only 6 months old, but he has already accumulated a collection of colorful plastic toys. For a while he enjoyed them, but now he’s bored with them. What was exciting to him last week is now as old as dirt. So, I found myself at the toy store looking at ten different toys, all plastic, all $10 and up. These toys are virtually all the same. The same toy over and over, just presented in a new way.
That day, I realized I had toys already in my house! I got out a few different sizes and shapes of tupperware. I filled one with pasta for a “rattle” like toy, and one with water. New toys were born! He loved the new shapes, textures and noises they made. He loved figuring out how they worked, what they tasted liked, how to grab them, and what they could do.

Creativity is a gift that every child should be able to embrace. To feel and be creative allows growth, self confidence and exploration. You discover things and learn about yourself and the world around you. What would happen if one day, you took out every “fancy,” high geared electronic toy out of your home? If you presented paper, art supplies as is, blocks and legos. If you told them to just, “figure it out.” What would they do? What would they create?
I bet a whole lot. The possibilities are endless.
Sometimes, the most basic and ordinary toy or object can become your child’s most loved possession. All you have to do is let them figure it out.

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

17 thoughts on “Inspire Creativity in Your Children

  1. I have three kids (13, 5 and 2) and did the same thing with making creative toys. I agree with you that although the store bought toys are colorful and good toys they do not always allow the child to form their own creativity.

  2. i really like this. i always catch myself wishing that most of the plastic toys in this world would just disappear. it's junk, it's clutter, and you're right, kids get bored with it sooooo quickly and then it just takes up space. plus, they're making more toys all day every day, like the world needs more. where are they all going to go? landfills! grrr….

    oops, starting to rant.

    great post!

  3. My daughter is currently obsessed with the box my sewing machine came in. She has been moving all our measuring cups and tupperware from their space under the sink to the box which is in the living room. Then she takes them out and puts them back, then she does it all over again. Never has she played with a toy this long!

  4. My son just had his first birthday. We were faced with trying to figure out what to get him, because really he has enough toys. Too many perhaps! We got him a couple new toys and he played with them for a minute or so. I knew we shouldn't have wasted our money…but we HAD to get him something for his birthday!

    His favorite toys are a plastic water bottle, his Nana's key chain, or some pots and pans and a spoon. What's that phrase? KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid! 🙂

  5. Mine has always been intrigued with how things work and fit together so it's been fun finding things for her to play with. She will bypass a regular baby toy and go for Tupperware containers and lids to fit on them. She likes the empty toilet paper or paper towel tube and empty boxes or cannisters from snacks. And she LOVES building with colorful blocks too.
    It's funny tho…one thing that always seems to entertain her is an item of clothing or small towel that she can play peek a boo with and wrap around herself. It's so funny to watch her play with random things like that! And she loves “folding” the laundry with me too. Lately she's been into the throw pillows on the couch.
    Recently for her first birthday party we said on her invitation “no gifts necessary” because we prefer to monitor what toys and how many toys she has.
    One good idea I heard about if your baby seems to get bored of their toys from day to day:
    Get 7 plastic “tubs” and label them for each day of the week. Divide all the toys evenly and get one tub out for each day. This will keep baby from getting overwhelmed with too many toys and after 6 days of not seeing a particular toy, it will seem new to them again.

  6. We do a lot of this too. My number one secret weapon is water and bubbles. It does make a mess, but if you want to make them really, REALLY happy, fill the bottom of a big plastic bowl with warm water and a squirt of dish soap. When she starts to get bored with that, I'll give her some hard pasta, legos or blocks to throw in there. She could occupy herself for hours with this stuff!

  7. Great post! Just wanted to add that while these activities enhance a child's development, they also can help you make much needed connections with a child that is delayed.

    Lisa @
    All That and a Box of Rocks

  8. My son loves to take different toys and make them interact with each other- right now his stuffed dinosaur and a Micky Mouse figurine are best friends and he will act out entire stories for them! It's so fun to watch. And as messy as it is, painting is his favorite thing to do! He makes all sorts of things and then wants to tell me about them. I always ask him to “tell me about it” so that he can give me the story and think creatively. Great post!

  9. i totally agree with you! it's funny how my 2 little girls today were totally occupied with playing with an empty toilet paper roll – just rolling it around the floor together! and don't even get me started on boxes – lol!!!

  10. Great post! My son LOVES all things water – they just excite him so much! So a tuppeware container of water is like Heaven to him. He also loves spoons and cups and socks 🙂 I love how cheap really awesome toys are

  11. Love this post, and your idea of putting things in the tupperware for him to explore… now if I can just get MIL to agree… she gives my daughter something bright, plastic, and made in china literally every time we see them. She cannot believe I won't let her watch baby Einsteins and worries that I'm not 'stimulating' her enough because I don't give her things that blink, flash, and make noise… rgh. At least I know my baby is happy (p.s. one of her favorite toys is a red washcloth… with fringe, lol).

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