If you’re looking for a way to fill some upcoming time with the kiddies, or even just some general tips, you can’t beat a look at this Craft Whack article. The site is filled with great ways to encourage creativity and healthy play for kids.
The thing is, it couldn’t be more important. Especially in those earliest years of human development, we set the stage for the rest of life to come. Instilling great thinking skills greatly benefit not only the individual but everyone around them too!
Imagination and Play
Pablo Picasso is reported to have said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Whether or not that’s apocryphal, the point remains that encouraging creativity is a gift we give to our children.
It’s the kind of gift that can stand them in good stead for life, as well. This is not to say that all kids should grow up to be professional artists, but rather that creativity itself is a habit that can be brought into absolutely any field later in life.
Being creative means little when you have no clay to mold. The assembled knowledge and wisdom of the last five thousand years of civilization are stored in the written word. Now, clearly, the very little ones don’t yet read, but the love of reading can be instilled.
By taking the time to read to small kids compellingly and interestingly, you will lay that foundation. Then, once children begin to read independently, they will hopefully realize what an absolute adventure lies open before them amongst the pages.
Philosophy, Logic, and Reasoning
Once you’ve fomented the basic drive for creativity and the thirst for knowledge, it’s time to go “meta.” You may consider critical thinking and logic to belong to university courses, and for the complex stuff, you’d be correct.
However, it’s never too early to expose children to rigorous modes of thinking. A parent can stimulate philosophical reasoning in surprisingly young children by asking open ended questions or highlighting opposing ideas.
It may be tricky to maintain attention spans, but there’s no reason to make it hard. Just the odd snippet here and there will tend to have a good effect and get the deeper and higher functions going in the brain.
Parenting is a massive job. It’s far and away the most complex, challenging, and rewarding of any job in the world. Bringing creativity, understanding, and thinking into the life of your child is among the greatest gifts anyone could give.
It need not be the hardest part of your parenting role, either. Encouraging playtime in certain ways, setting up the routine of bedside reading, and routinely asking philosophical questions is really all it takes to set the wheels in motion.
Then, with a little luck, your child will take up the slack on their own initiative. Having done what you can as a parent, you can sit back and watch whatever may occur next in their lives from that point.