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How Parents can Foster Creativity in Children: Five Tips from Jennifer Gardiner, Artist, Illustrator, Author (Also Mother and Grandmother)

Fostering creativity may be less complicated than it seems, with nature and technology as unique options rather than being mutually exclusive. 


Get out in nature: Enjoy the outdoors together. “I learned about color and texture by getting lost and seeing the ocean,” said Gardiner. She recommends allowing children to have free time in greenspace to explore at their own pace. 

Follow their lead: Let children be in charge and take on a leadership role when possible.

Allow children to show as well as tell: Children often use concrete examples with found objects in addition to telling a story. Give them your attention. 

Hone in on children’s interests: How much of a child’s personality is nature versus nurture remains a debate. Hone in on their interests and let them tell you who they are and what they like. 

Let children make mistakes: Making mistakes as part of the process is significant in creating art but also in allowing children to explore what they’re capable of and how. 

“When you allow them to make that little mistake, you see them start growing. One of the most important things parents can do is to allow the child not to be perfect,” reminded Gardiner. “Parents want control and for the outcome to look perfect  The parents will say 'you're putting too much glue on here.’ If a child is making a bird, the beak and the eyes, wherever they put them, that’s where they go. There's not any bad art with kids.”

Find more information at Jennifer Gardiner's website.

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Tags: Enrichment, Preschool

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