Tag Archives: children

How Parents can Foster Creativity in Children


As a visual arts educator and an arts coach I am often asked about creativity, and more specifically for advice on how to foster more of it.   Here are some tips I came across that I think apply quite nicely to the students and families of IAA. 

How Adults Can Encourage Creativity:

  • Encourage curiosity, exploration, experimentation, fantasy, questioning, testing, and the development of creative talents.   (In other words, allow children the opportunity to play – open ended materials and toys are the best way to ecourage creative play…think playdough, blocks, legos, art materials,paper,etc.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Provide opportunities for creative expression, creative problem-solving and constructive response to change and stress. (Often playful and dramatic re-creations of experiences can help children to assimilate and reframe them.)
  • Prepare children for new experiences, and help develop creative ways of coping with them.
  • Find ways of changing destructive behavior into constructive, productive behavior rather than relying on punitive methods of control.
  • Make sure that every member of the family receives individual attention and respect and is given opportunities to make significant, creative contributions to the welfare of the family as a whole.
  • Use what the school provides imaginatively, and supplement the school’s efforts.

How Adults “Kill” Creativity:

  • Insisting that children do things the “right way.” Teaching a child to think that there is just one right way to do things kills the urge to try new ways.
  • Pressuring children to be realistic, to stop imagining. When we label a child’s flights of fantasy as “silly,” we bring the child down to earth with a thud, causing the inventive urge to curl up and die.
  • Making comparisons with other children. This is a subtle pressure on a child to conform; yet the essence of creativity is freedom to conform or not to conform.
  • Discouraging children’s curiosity. One of the surest indicators of creativity is curiosity; yet we often brush questions aside because we are too busy for “silly” questions. Children’s questions deserve respect.

Torrance, E. P. (1969). CREATIVITY. Sioux Falls, ND: Adapt Press.