Mums, are you encouraging your little ones to be creative?
Mums, did you know that being creative helps kids with their social, emotional and mental development?
It is often said that creative activities for kids help them with their development, and recently I witnessed that first-hand! A few weeks ago, I was watching my nieces build a tower from colourful wooden blocks. As they haphazardly added more and more blocks, it started to wobble unsteadily. I was all ready to help them with it and calm the cries that would accompany its inevitable fall only to be pleasantly surprised to see them purposefully knock it over and discuss a strategy for rebuilding.
After examining the blocks for a minute, they quickly realised their problem- they had been stacking bigger blocks on smaller ones! After a quick debate and reassessment of their building strategy, they were soon building a new, much sturdier tower.
It amazes me to think how quickly their little brains are evolving, even just a few months earlier, they would have either thrown a tantrum or asked demanded help building the tower but now they're using their creative and critical thinking skills to solve problems.
This scenario reminded me why creative activities for kids are so important!
Kids benefit in many ways when they are encouraged to be creative. People (not just kids!) who are creative have better-connected brains than people who are not1. Brain cell connections are especially important for a child’s growth. The more brain cells connect, the faster they develop in crucial areas like mental, emotional and social aspects.
Some of the other benefits of encouraging creativity are that it helps kids develop into well-rounded individuals and they are happier when they’re given a chance to be creative!
When kids are given the opportunity to be creative in a social setting, besides the benefits mentioned above, it also helps inspire confidence in them. They can then use that confidence to build stronger friendships2.
With groups of young kids, it’s very easy to set up creative activities. Even without any special equipment, you can turn on some music and have a dance party or have kids plan, write and perform a play together.
Through these activities, children learn about taking turns, compromise, sharing and other key elements of social development.
A common misconception is that all creative activities for kids are based on artistic activities. This could not be further from the truth! It may seem counter-intuitive but kids need some structure to their creative play as well.
You can encourage mental development by asking questions during creative play. For example, ask how a certain song makes your little one feel or how they decided what they wanted to draw. Use this as an opportunity to teach them new vocabulary and give them confidence when expressing their thoughts and opinions.
Creative playtime can also be used to improve cognitive development. Use tools like play-doh to teach your little one simple mathematical concepts like less and more or bigger and smaller.
Mums, we all know how emotional development is a tricky area when it comes to your little one. On the one hand, you never want to teach them that expressing their emotions is bad. However, at the same time, it is very important to teach kids how to moderate and control their emotional responses.
Show your kids how they can use creative expression as a way to show their emotions. If your little one is angry, ask them to draw a picture showing what is making them angry. Through artistic means, children have more non-verbal ways to communicate. By sitting down with them and understanding their thoughts and feelings, you are showing them that their feelings are important to you too.
Remember, something that seems small to you might be a big deal for them!
In order for kids to reach their full creative potential, parents also need to make sure they have the right nutrients so that they can grow and develop to keep learning and exploring.
Anmum Essential with Mind-Q Connect contains DHA and 2X More GA. This combination of nutrients is important for the brain. DHA is an important building block for brain development, while GA (Gangliosides) help with brain cell connections.
Besides being rich in GA and DHA, Anmum Essential is also formulated with absolutely no added sugars! And this is important because too much added sugar can actually do more harm than good for a growing child.
The right inspiration from parents together with good nutrition is the key to help maximize brain cell connections.
Find out more about Anmum Essential here.
1 Creative people have better-connected brains. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170221101125.htm on 9 November 2017.
2Kids Don't Need Equipment, They Need Opportunity. Retrieved from www.pps.org/reference/kids_smithsonian/ on 9 November 2017.