Baby Development Skills: Creativity
Mar 27, 2012
More than being a product or output, creativity is a process or journey in which individuals/children develop a way of thinking (original/innovative thinking). Play helps children develop their creativity and imaginative skills, such as role play. Creative play provides opportunities for children to try out new ideas, as well as new ways of problem solving and applying knowledge.
For very young babies, artistic expression is not yet evident at this stage, but you can stimulate them with interesting things to see, hear, and touch that can encourage creativity later on.
Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Problem Solving Skills
How can you encourage your child’s creativity and imagination?
Ensure that your children are involved in activities where they are actively engaged. TV is a passive activity, drawing or building blocks is active.
Newborn to 6 months
- To capture their attention and encourage curiosity, provide your baby with black and white toys as well as high contrast books.
- Sit your child in front of a mirror. Young children will see the reflection while lying on their sides or tummies.
- Give your baby tummy time on an outdoor mat to give them the opportunity to see the world in a new way.
6 to 12 months
- Offer open ended toys that your baby can explore and experiment on. They may use a block or tumbler as a mobile phone to copy what you do.
- Find different types of music and sound, and get your baby involved. You can use a bucket and wooden spoons for a drum. For a shaker, you can use a plastic jar (with a closed lid) full of uncooked rice.
- Play peek a boo by using objects such as scarves, tea towels, or various fabrics.
12 to 18 months
- Allow opportunities for messy yet fun outdoor activities that let your child ‘create’ something, such as writing on sand using his/her fingers or a stick.
- Introduce visual art and craft so they’ll know, for example, how paper, paints, or crayons move, and what they can do with them.
- When your child shows interest in some objects in your house, allow them to check it out and touch it (on the condition that it is safe to do so). Tell them all about the thing that has captured their interest.
18 months to 2 years
- As pretend play peaks at this stage, provide your child with toys that can be used as ‘props’ for real life routines such as cooking or cleaning. Encourage your child to make up stories about their toys. “What is teddy doing?” Let your child play with household objects and allow them to pretend to do things that you do – mix the cake in the bowl, or pour tea into the cup. Pots and pans as well as toy dishes and utensils are good examples of these toys.
- Show your child how common everyday objects can be used to create something. Find a small box to use as a boat. Then crumple up a newspaper and place it under the box to become the water, sea or river.
- Ask your child to play happy music using their toy drum or dance while they make lovely tunes using the xylophone.
Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Cause And Effect Skills
- As your child’s creative thinking and imagination continue to develop, encourage them to do things differently. Ask them to use puzzle pieces to form their favourite number or letter in the alphabet, for example.
- Invite your child to participate in a warm up/dance. You could climb, roll, jump, skip, or spin around together. Gradually take a step back so your child can lead the dance.
- Allow your child to lead their creative activities. Ensure that you child has lots of materials they can create with - pencils, crayons, paper, scissors and glue, paints, and playdough. When finger painting, for example, your child may enjoy experimenting with paint from a variety of different pots and mixing the colours together to make new colours.
3 years and older
- Creative thinking in your child almost becomes limitless so encourage more challenging art activities. Help your child create “scrap people” using everyday items around the house like string and paper tubes. Ask them to explain what they're doing at each step - and allow their imagination to go wild.
- Ask your child to build their cosy corner using a blanket, cushion, or other material. Encourage them to describe what they’re doing while building their den. This also allows opportunity for imaginative play, as your child might describe their new den as a castle, lighthouse, or anything their imagination takes them.
- When you’re reading favourite books, leave out words and let your preschooler help make them up. You can also ask your child what he thinks will happen next to an unfamiliar story. Reading books with children will help them to visualize places and things they have never seen before. Ask your child lots of questions about what they can see in the pictures, “what do you think the cow is doing?” “where is the frog going?” “what is going to happen next?” Encourage your child to think about the world around them. Ask them questions about what they can see from the car window, or as you are walking in the park.
Further Reading: How To Help Develop Baby's Visual Cognition Skills
Provide plenty of opportunities for your child to learn and explore their environment, and to talk about what they think is going on, and watch their imaginations flourish!
Where to buy creativity toys?
Hello Charlie has a great range of toys to help baby develop creativity skills. Australia wide shipping, same day despatch when you order before 10am.