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Tips for Parents: Innovative Learning Methods That Awaken Creativity
The first couple of years of a child’s life are crucial as they set the stage for their development later on. This is what has many parents focusing on developing certain skills in their children from a young age, whether it’s learning a new language or practicing sports.
They also tend to focus on their children’s performance in classes and go to great lengths to motivate their children to do better. In a world where we’re measured by our academic achievements, creativity skill often comes as an afterthought, which is a shame because it offers a lot of emotional and intellectual benefits when fostered. Let’s take a look at a couple of innovative learning methods that will light a spark of creativity in your child.
Rely on everyday situations as learning tools
Sometimes, even ordinary, everyday situations can serve as a good environment for learning new concepts. Whether you’re waiting in line, grocery shopping, or simply going for a walk in the park, you can use your surroundings as improvised learning tools. Ask your child questions and let them describe what they see – talk about the color of the sky and ask them what their favorite colors are. Have them count how many items are there in your shopping cart or use the opportunity to teach them about the value of money, depending on their age, of course. Ask questions that are in line with their level of understanding and try to engage them in conversations as much as possible. That way, you’ll activate their imagination and get them to think, creating a fun and positive learning environment wherever you are.
Use technology to foster your child’s creativity
Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and like everything, it has its upsides and downsides depending on how you use it. When it comes to screen time, it’s important to understand that it can be both a distraction and a useful learning tool, depending on how you look at it. Not all screen time is bad for children – in fact, it can be quite educational and can even help foster creativity in kids depending on the content. Video games can spark their creativity and force them to think outside the box, thus helping boost their problem-solving skills. Your kids can also get inspired by watching YouTube DIY videos and get crafty. You could also look for online early learning programs that are suitable for their age, attention span, and brain capabilities to make the most of their formative years.
Figure out what their interests are and encourage their curiosity
Children’s formative years are the years of exploration, so let them experiment with different toys and games and let them experience the world at their own pace and on their own terms. Not every child learns the same way – in fact, there are different types of intelligence, so it’s important to try to figure out what sparks your child’s interest and what skills you should focus on more. Satisfy their curiosity by sharing your knowledge on the subject and find ways to encourage their young minds to chase after their interests. Also, do your best to provide them with tools that will spark their desire for knowledge and give their skills a boost, whether that skill is drawing, sculpting, writing, or crafting.
Provide them with a creative space of their own
Speaking of providing children with the right educational tools, children also need to be given a space where their creativity can flourish. It doesn’t have to be a large playroom – it’s great to have one but it’s not a necessity. It can be a small portion of their bedroom or even an improvised play area in your living space. Design a space where they can explore their imaginative side – create a chalkboard wall and provide them with colorful chalks they can use to draw, write, and practice their coordination. Set up a play area and fill it with all the different toys, or bring in a drawing table and chairs. Allowing some space for creativity will motivate them to explore and further build their skills through fun-filled activities.
Don’t put too much importance on grades
One of the mistakes many parents make is that they evaluate their children based solely on their performance in school. While there’s no doubt that higher grades increase chances for success, they’re not the only measurement of your child’s intellectual capacity, especially when it comes to children who show interest in arts. Standardized tests measure only so much, and a child who isn’t good at math or science can turn out to have an amazing gift for painting, writing, or playing an instrument, which is why parents should pay close attention to their children’s tendencies and interests from a young age. Let them know that it’s important to study, but don’t put too much importance on grades. Instead, let them express themselves creatively and find ways to support and encourage their creative spirits early on.
Fostering creativity from a young age is as important as teaching other skills. Kids are natural-born innovators, which is why parents need to recognize their creative potentials early on in order to maximize them. With these five innovative teaching techniques, you’ll make learning more interactive while at the same time letting your children’s creativity blossom.
Isabel William is consultant by day and a blogger by night and Mum to twins 24/7. Area of interest includes education, well being, mental health, as well as self-improvement. Considered by her peers a lifetime educator, whose passion is love for writing and helping people, parenting, education and science.