I truly believe that when the Creator of the Universe made us in His image He gave us all the ability to create art.
You may be tempted to argue that you are not creative or artistic and that may be the case, but you are meant to create art. For me, art is drawing, writing, and designing my environment. For my husband, it’s creating spreadsheets and processes to bring order to his department’s finances. For my kids, it’s cooking, knitting, and building complex worlds on their favorite video game.
For many years I worked outside my home as an interior designer. Always surrounded by creative people, I was constantly stimulated. That all changed however when I had children and became a stay-at-home mom. I realized if I wanted to express my own creativity, I had to be intentional about it. As my children got older, it was just natural to take them along for the ride.
No matter what your child’s gifting, here are some things you can do to nurture their creativity:
- Take time to encourage them. Help them enjoy the process of creating by listening to their ideas and even offering a few of your own. Ask questions that cause them to think out of the box and explore new ways of doing things. Applaud them when they take risks.
- Lead by example. Participate with your children in their art and share with them those things you create on your own.
- Allow them to daydream. It’s tough to do this in a world that’s constantly on the go but, if possible, don’t over-crowd your schedule. Create space in your day to just be. It will lead to connections and insights overlooked in the busy. Day dream together or carve out time for your child to spend independently.
- Share new experiences with them. This feeds their curiosity and fills them with wonder. It can be as simple as playing at different parks, shopping in new stores, or driving through unfamiliar neighborhoods. You can also take day trips to explore a destination in your state or plan vacations around a “must see” place on your child’s wish list.
- Celebrate your child’s art. Display their art on a wall or shelf. Celebrate it in your conversation.
- Make the tools they need to be creative available. Have a designated place to create. This might include a simple work surface, pencils, crayons, markers and paper at the ready. If your child is musically inclined, choose a space they can practice their instrument or write songs. You can also offer easy access to music with a radio or speakers that attach to their music player.
- Pray about creative ideas. God is a never-ending source of creativity. Share with your child that all they have to do is ask to receive insight into an idea, project, or problem.
- Surround them with beauty. Take a walk through a garden or head to the zoo. Talk about how truly unique each element of creation is. You don’t have to go far though to share this with your child.
- Read books like Weird and Wonderful Creations, a collection of four books in one for young readers that puts the animal kingdom on display and exhibits the imagination of its Creator. Your child will love all the photos and fascinating animal facts and hopefully be inspired by God’s amazing Creation!
Creating art is not about paint on a canvas but walking out who God created us to be. Nurturing your child’s creativity allows them to blossom in their God given talents no matter what they might be.
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Is your child a budding artist? Or does he or she seem to have zero traditional creative art skills? How can you look at your child’s abilities differently and help foster their expression of their God-given creativity? How do you nurture creativity in your child? Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you!