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We all know that it is a good thing for our kids to be able to think creatively.
It isn’t just artists, musicians and performers who need creativity. Any time that you need to solve a problem, creativity is the skill that will help you to find a solution.
Creativity is about being able to think in an original way and solve problems intelligently. Creativity is what you need to come up with great ideas for doing something new or doing anything in a better way, whether you are a parent, a doctor, an engineer, a cleaner or a gardener.
So what can you do to boost this vital skill in your children? You do not need to splash out on expensive art sets, exhibition visits or concert tickets to nurture your child’s creativity.
There are lots of fun things that you can do for free with your children that will boost their creativity and their problem solving abilities.
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When we think of creativity, our first thought is often art and craft. This certainly is a brilliant way to develop creative thinking and it does not need to cost lots of money. You probably have pencils and paper in the house already, but even if you are very short of cash you can use lots of items for crafts that you might otherwise have thrown away.
Take a look through the materials that you are putting in the recycling or throwing out. Could your child use those empty boxes, cartons, newspapers and tubes to make something?
Could you try origami with a leaflet or free newspaper that came through your door. Can you think up a way to build something without glue?
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Reading is one of the best ways to develop creativity. Every book is world of new and exciting ideas just waiting to be explored. Whether you read to your child or they are old enough to read for themselves, get down to your local library and get borrowing books!
You may also be lucky enough to live near a Little Free Library where you can take any book to read, and donate any books that you no longer read.
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Get out of the house and get some fresh air. The benefits of exercise cannot be overstated Walk in a wood, a park or your local high street. Take a different route to school or to the shops and go see something new. If it's raining walk around a museum, walk around the local shopping mall, it is still exercise even if it is indoors.
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Listen to different types of music. You can listen to music for free all day long – just switch on the radio. Allowing your child to listen to a wide variety of musical styles will give them an appreciation of different rhythms, how different instruments sound and of the sheer quantity of different types of music.
Sing! Sing along to the radio, sing nursery rhymes, sing the pop songs you loved in your teens. Singing has many benefits, physically, emotionally and socially. It is great exercise and also releases endorphins.
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Play the What If? game.
What if the cat turned into a dog? What if we painted the house purple? What if we ate dinner at breakfast time and had cereal for breakfast? What if you dressed as a clown tomorrow?
Thinking about unusual scenarios helps your child to think about things in a different way, which is the essence of creative problem solving.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!