One of our jobs as parents is to find new ways to inspire and encourage our children’s curiosity, creativity and interest in the world around them. Try these eight tips to spark your child’s inner artist, actor or architect.
Role Playing. How often have you heard the words, “Mom, can you play with me?” And what kind of games do our kids want to play most? The most exciting and creative play is role playing, allowing kids to make up games, songs and stories, try on different outfits and create characters’ voices. These games can go on for hours, and even days, bonding us with our children and creating a more satisfying relationship.
Building Things. I didn’t have LEGOs as a child, but I recall building many cars (school buses, taxis, dump trucks) using a cardboard box, round cups for wheels, pencils and a toy motor.
Telling Stories. All kids love telling stories. Writing those stories down, drawing scenes and characters, and publishing them on kid-friendly websites such as Scribble Press (www.scribblepress.com) makes the projects fun, memorable and gift-appropriate.
Sharing Photos. A number of internet-based image publishing companies make it easy to create original projects about your recent trip, school event or a holiday, then share and collaborate with friends and family.
Making Music. Growing up in a musically-inclined family, I began taking piano and voice lessons at age 5. Even though I did not like practicing scales, I remember composing musical duets on the piano with my childhood friend. And I have never met a child who didn’t like singing. I have seen children transform during voice lessons, forgetting daily troubles and diving into the world of music.
Staging a Show. When I was growing up, my parents’ friends’ and our families often met to stage theatrical shows in someone’s living room. We created names for our shows, plots, roles and hilarious outfits. Singing together, making up songs and performing as a group is an incredible, relaxing and enjoyable activity for a whole family.
Making Art. I love my local Costco as a source for large cardboard boxes. Along with paints, brushes, cut-out stamps made of potatoes, bell peppers and such, they enable my kids and I to create roads, cities, holiday art, musical instruments (see some of our projects at https://MusicTeacherLA.com/music-activities-for-kids/) and great mood any time!
Learning a new language. I feel joy watching children switch with ease between two or more languages. Being a bilingual parent, I learned two new languages as an adult and benefitted from it not only by enjoying the process of learning and improving my memory, but also by freely using them in different companies, at work, and by reading some of the world literature in the original language.