Child psychologists and early childhood educators agree on the tremendous value of creative development as a foundation for cognitive development, problem-solving, math and science skills, language development, the ability to think in the abstract, self-confidence, and emotional and social growth. This is why creativity plays such a huge role in our everyday learning activities at Brightling.

But there’s yet another benefit: in exploring creative ideas and activities together, you can deepen your connection with your child.

  1. It helps you understand how they think and what they feel.
  2. It helps them feel your interest in what they think and how they feel.
  3. It gives you focused, on-on-one opportunities to raise and discuss matters of interest to them (and to you).
  4. It shows them you support exploration and experimentation – which helps soften a perception (on their part and on yours!) that you may always be saying “no” to the fun stuff.

Creativity isn’t just about “art” – though that’s a fun (and sometimes messy, which means even more fun!) way to be creative. There are all kinds of ways to be creative with your child, that you can pull out no matter the time of day, no matter how many of you are present, no matter where you are.

A simple one: “write” a story together, alternating sentences. For example, you can start with “Once upon a time, there was a chicken farm that had one lonely cow. Her name was…” and then have your child continue until they get stuck. Back and forth you go until the story is complete! You can tailor the child’s contribution to their age – for really little ones, you can make it a “fill-in-the-blanks” exercise, and for older ones, you can give them control of the plot. The whole family can participate (and if you can audio- or video-record the session, you can have a memory to enjoy again and again).

Look for patterns in the clouds together. Have a “MacGyver” contest, in which each family member is given a household item and has to invent a new way it could be used. Make up funny new words. When out for a walk, suggest what each of you thinks every dog you see should be named, and explain why.

Collaborating on a common challenge together will naturally draw you together, and give you opportunities to learn more about one another. There’s no better way to connect than that.