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Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up.”
Picasso’s thoughts about children’s creativity ring true.
Your own childhood would have been filled with hours of drawing, painting and masterpiece-making.
As a parent, you know kids today are much the same. Simply place art materials in front of your kids and it won’t be long before they’re busy creating.
And whether they’re putting pen to paper, creating collages or shaping clay, children are doing far more than improving their motor skills.
They’re learning to express their feelings, solve problems and explore new ideas. More importantly, they’re learning the value of the process of creation.
Kids know the greatest joy of art is in its making.
The trick is getting them to embrace their creativity on a regular basis, instead of turning to the TV or iPad for entertainment.
Fortunately, nurturing your child’s creativity may be as simple as keeping art and craft supplies at the ready.
Kids benefit from having creative tools available
“There are a number of things I find effective in encouraging kids’ creativity,” says Roslyn Erskine, learning skills adviser at Monash University and mother of two.
“Most importantly the space needs to be clear and organised.”
Erskine says a simple box, or even a fabric wall hanging with pockets devoted to each type of writing material is a quick and easy system.
“Whatever it is, it needs to be visible and organised,” Erskine says. “If it’s not, they don’t use it. They need to see the range of options.”
Mother of two and Little Worlds owner Ann Maes agrees. “When organising a creative area that inspires children to engage in self-directed play, there is only one thing you need to remember: keep it simple.
“Through simple invitations to play and create with everyday materials, you'll grab children's attention and focus while giving them the freedom to explore and experiment.”
Enabling self-directed creative time is important for development.
Lastly, adapt these essentials to your children’s needs and developmental stage; as they grow up, so can their palette of tools and materials.
And don’t forget to clear some space on the fridge! Who needs a Picasso? Your family’s art gallery will be second-to-none.