We humans have a primal need to make things. The process of creating something is good for our emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as for our imagination and creativity.
Letting children explore the materials and handle the objects does not only encourage their creativity but also helps them hone their fine motor skills, recognize different shapes and understand the meaning of “smooth”, “hard”, “soft”, “rough” etc. It increases their sensory awareness.
However, being creative does not only mean that you draw a picture or write a poem. It also means that you are able to solve problems and adapt to new, uncertain situations. Seeing a problem from different angles and inventing new approaches to a situation helps you find new, innovative solutions. This is something we can all make good use of.
Giving children tools to express themselves can help us gain insight into their world and emotions. Children can feel all sorts of things but are yet not able to put their feelings into words. This is where parents come in. We can help them name the feelings, talk about events that caused those feelings and discuss about how to express them.
For example, providing children with a set of different emotion stickers made out of self-adhesive foil may help them express how they feel and facilitate conversation about it. Whatever you do, encourage your child to express their emotions, especially in these days when we are all compelled to stay indoors and in isolation.
At the same time, we should be aware that we have been given some extra time that we can spend with our families. A time when we can all get our creative juices flowing. Studies show that when we engage in a creative action, we get distracted from anxiety and stress and we stimulate many brain regions, resulting in better health overall. And this is something we all strive for, isn’t it?
So open your creative chakras, encourage your children to do the same and kick the stressy times away!