By the age of 3, children have learned that they can use words, drawing and objects to represent an idea.
For example, a bird can be represented by its name, a picture drawn by the child or others, or by feathers. Blocks and other objects can be arranged to represent an action or an object.
The fine motor control needed to manipulate objects and crayons develops over these years and by age 5, many children can make detailed drawings and dictate titles and descriptions.
How to encourage creativity in children:
1) Build, build, build
Play with construction toys like Lego or blocks making houses, towns, cars or simple furniture like beds or chairs. Let children have free reign over their own creativity and be amazed with what they will come up with!
2) Get creative in nature
Gather leaves of all shapes and sizes from a walk around the park or your neighbourhood to make some charming leaf people. Thank you, My Mommy Style, for showing us how to make leaf people!
3) Play dress up!
Save your old shoes, scarves, hats and dresses and let them use their imagination. Decide on a theme that works with the dress up clothes at hand and make costumes e.g pirates, farmers, doctors
4) Reading time
Reading is an excellent way to encourage creative thinking, expression, and logical reasoning. Take your child to the library and set aside time for them to read independently every day. Discuss their favourite book and its characters with them.
Bonus: When it is quiet reading time, put on some relaxing music to signal the beginning and end of this period. This is a great way to signal to children that it is time for quiet time!
5) Play pretend!
The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas like language, social emotional, and thinking skills. Have a tea party for stuffed animals – pour water into cups and have animals “drink”.