Encouraging children to express themselves through creativity is beneficial to many areas of their development. Research shows that when teachers provide opportunities to do so without fear of judgement or being wrong, children become less fearful, learn there can be many solutions to problems, and develop fine motor and communication skills. Because of this, it’s important for educators to integrate creative expression into all experiences throughout the school day.
Parents and caregivers can focus on making this a priority at home, too. Here are some ideas on how to do just that for children of all ages:
- Listen to music with your child and sing along. Make it a point to sing to your child without music, too.
- Give your child safe finger paints. Encourage them to create something colorful with their hands, then display their work where they can see it.
- Allow your child to experiment with using different objects to make unique sounds. This could be musical toys or instruments made using household objects.
- Play your child’s favorite music and dance with them.
- Go outside and collect objects such as leaves, sticks, flowers, or grass with your child. Use these items to make a natural collage together.
- If possible, have an area in your house where your child can engage in dramatic play. Encourage them to act out different roles to develop their imagination.
- Ask your child to explain a piece of artwork they’ve created. Ask why they chose certain colors and shapes, and what the piece means to them.
- Point out different musical instruments when you see them in books or when you hear them in a song. Help your child to make associations between instruments and the sounds they make.
- Provide opportunities for your child to draw. If possible, have a regular space available for them to create with paper, pencils, crayons, or markers.
- Dramatic play at this age is great, too! Create stories with your child and act them out together. Use puppets, household props, or just yourselves.
- Introduce your child to different genres of music. Ask them about the differences they hear. Ask what their favorite genre is and why.
- Dance to different types of music with your child. Take notice of how they change their movements between each style and ask why they did this.
Now it’s time to get creative with these ideas—or let our suggestions inspire your own! We hope you have fun experiencing the joy of creative expression and the fun of learning, together.