It is said that people who are messy are, in fact, the most creative. This same logic is applied to children, especially those aged 2 to 11. Whether you like it or not, kids are messy little persons. While it may be a menace for you, it’s beautiful to sit back and see the creative thinking that comes out of it. Let’s look at ways in which kids unfold their creativity, and the various interactive learning activities that you, as parents, can engage your children in, to channel cognitive development in kids.
- Assembling Toys
Toys like Legos and other building blocks and bricks are great in engaging kids. There’s a whole scenery in their minds in terms of what they want to build with the blocks. Their imagination runs free, and they start this journey of creating something new, something original. They will make animals and people, buildings and jungles, and a story will run through this entire creation. Allow the kids to sit with you and tell you the story behind each character, and you will be amazed at the expressive thinking behind it.
- Sketching and Drawing
Nothing sparks creativity in a child like a blank canvas. Giving them a blank sheet of paper and saying that they are free to sketch anything they feel like, is a way of opening up their minds to a new level of expressive thinking. Along with enhancing cognitive development in kids, this also gives you a chance to understand what is going on in your child’s mind and their thought process. Children usually draw things that they love: the family, their pets and their friends. They may also draw things that they have learned about and took a liking to, like animals, planets, birds, etc. This way you can learn about their interests if they haven’t stated it and encourage it further.
Talking about interactive learning activities, don’t we all enjoy those storytelling nights under the blanket tent? Grab some hot cocoa and your kids, and venture on a storytelling adventure. Start with ‘once upon a time’ and let them complete the story. Watch their minds get creative and that expressive thinking emerge. This is a great way to make children think and communicate. There is no right and wrong, so they won’t feel shy to share what’s on their minds. Throw in a little bit of your own twists and turns and applaud them when they add something interesting. This will garner spontaneity and out of box thinking as well.
- Fun with Clay
Clay is another interesting way to help in cognitive development of the child. It can get a little messy but it’s fun, nonetheless. Children make the quirkiest things when left to their imagination, and the outcome can keep you guessing. But there will also be witty and artistic results. You just have to look for it. Allowing them to explain what they have made will give you an insight into their psychology.
Activities like coloring, allows children to escape into a world of their own. A world where they decide how things should look. Apps like Skidos allow your child to color images on phones and tablets. With a wide range of pictures, colors and paintbrushes, your child can be busy for quite a while enjoying the world of colors. This activity allows children to recall what the color of an object is and then color it accordingly in the picture. Apart from bringing out the creativity in the child, it helps with memory too. For example, a child will remember types of animals, birds, vegetables, fruits, shapes, etc after coloring them in a picture.
You can’t go wrong in trying to nurture creativity in your child with this activity. There can be loads of activities involving puzzles. Puzzle books with mazes and riddles, quizzes with clues, treasure hunts at home, etc. Either invent home games with obstacles that they have to overcome or engage them in the classic puzzle games like the Rubik’s cube. All these activities will help sharpen their minds and bring out creative thinking.
- House Chores
Yes, you may wonder how house chores can facilitate creativity in a child, but it does in a way. When the bedroom is in a mess, ask your children for their opinion on what can be done to fix this. This has been tried and tested, and parents have received some genius ideas from kids that include “let’s put on some music and clear the room together”, “let’s divide the chores and see who finishes first”, “let’s keep aside things that we can give away to other kids who are less fortunate”, and “let’s invent fun forfeits for those who don’t complete the tasks on time”. You can get them involved in all sorts of house chores and see the creative thinking that springs up in them.