Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is something we can never have too much of. It’s how we solve problems, and how we continue to make life better every day.
As parents, it’s our hope to raise our kids to become creative individuals who can solve problems and find creative solutions to their challenges. It’s been proven time and time again that being able to solve problems is one of the key traits that allow a person to go further in life.
So, how exactly do we inspire creativity and ingenuity in our kids? It really isn’t as tricky as you might believe. These are five things you can do on a daily basis to transform your little ones into competent problem solvers.
1. Constantly challenge them
By now, many of us should have already gotten used to the idea of being stuck at home and practicing social distancing, but not all of us have managed to explain what is really going on to our kids stuck at home.
As with all things in life, a person becomes good at something through constant practice. This especially applies to problem-solving, and it’s vital that your kids be faced with little challenges regularly to stimulate their creative juices.
Doing this is as simple as giving them simple activities like jigsaw puzzles or toys that force them to do mental work before coming to a solution, and you can always increase the complexity of challenges as your kids become older and more skilled at figuring out solutions.
2. Let them fail every now and then
One of life’s greatest teachers is failure, and it pays to let your kids stumble and make mistakes every once in a while.
When they understand why methods work and others don’t, they learn the consequences of their actions way quicker, which will prepare them for even tougher challenges later in life.
As long as it’s safe, you should always allow your kids to fail at a new task before stepping in to provide some guidance – you’ll be surprised at how much of an effective teacher failure can be.
Just be sure to reassure and comfort them during these moments, and tell them that everyone experiences failure throughout life.
3. Remember to guide them
Being stuck at home during a pandemic can cause a child to feel all sorts of emotions, most of them not so nice. So when it comes to discipline, it would be best if you used positive reinforcement on them whenever you need to instill some discipline.
While it’s true that kids learn from their mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t step in every now and then.
Sometimes, a problem might prove to be too difficult for your kids to solve, and you can step in with opinions or suggestions to help them solve it. But if you do, remind yourself not to give away the solution wholesale.
Instead, you can offer them steps they can take to find a solution, or explain to them how you would go about solving the problem. For example, you can break a problem into multiple parts, and tackle problematic areas one by one until they’re solved.
You should always be reminded that children are extremely fast learners, and don’t be surprised when they actually show the capability to follow your lead.
4. Get them to help you.
Kids feel a sense of accomplishment when they solve small problems, but you can amplify this feeling by getting them to solve problems that you yourself are facing (or are pretending to face).
For instance, you can ask a toddler to help you determine how many days there are left until a family member’s birthday, so that you can plan a party. This may seem like a fairly simple task, but will prove to be a bit of a challenging math problem for pre-schoolers.
Let them try and figure out a way to break down the days in each month, and see if they come back to you with a correct figure. If they can’t figure out how to break down the days into manageable portions, step in and show them how you would do it.
5. Expose them to creative (and weird) content.
Last but not least, you should understand that creative thinking is inspired by exposure to creative things. This doesn’t only include puzzles and complex logic questions, but also stories, songs, and art that are imaginative and sometimes weird.
For example, classic fairy tales or superhero movies often break the rules and convention of logic and science, and considers many
If you give your children a chance to watch these movies or read stories that go beyond the normal, it’ll be easier for them in the future to become comfortable with out-of-the-box thinking.
The most creative thoughts can sometimes be suppressed by trying to be too logical, so even if a story or a video appears a little weird or nonsensical, you should consider that these can help your kids become more ingenious thinkers in the future.
The above are just a few things you can do to create a base on which you can rely on to help you navigate your parenting duties during the pandemic. While they won’t always turn out perfect, they can be used to form a strong base on which you can plan your parenting activities during the pandemic.
If you’re looking for more resources to help you on your journey as a parent, you can check out our blog page filled with lots of insightful parenting articles.
And if you ever need fun educational material that will help your kids become more imaginative, simply browse our store and pick from our incredible selection of entertaining and engaging children’s books!