Creativity is a wonderful blessing for a child, but it’s also a burden of sorts. Kids with the natural ability to use their imaginations and express themselves will easily become bored with regular activities. The limitations that keep others learning can actually hold them back — and this can be worse when schools are closed, because homeschooling typically maintains the structured aspects while losing the engaging social elements.
If you’re a parent trying to support your creative child as best you can, then, you should look beyond conventional lesson plans and find different ways to capture and keep their attention. That’s where fun educational activities become so useful: they allow extensive expression and keep kids learning at the same time. In this post, we’re going to look at some great examples of fun activities you can use to give your creative child a boost. Let’s get to them.
Four Fun Activities for Creative Kids
Writing, painting, and/or drawing
I’m mentioning these three things in tandem because they offer similar possibilities: given nothing more than a blank page (or screen), a creative child can design something from scratch. There’s a fundamental satisfaction involved in the process of creation for the sake of it. Maybe there’s a story your kid would like to tell, or a character they can easily visualize.
As with before, you can add in specific challenges to make things even more interesting. If they’re a fan of an existing literary or media franchise, invite them to write a story or paint a scene that could fit into that fictional universe. These skills — particularly writing — are likely to be highly valuable in the long run, so anything you can do to encourage them will be worthwhile.
A word of warning, though: the world of fanfiction can provide an aspiring writer with a fantastic start, but — per Brightly — you need to take care that your child doesn’t encounter inappropriate adult material if they start to search for more stories set in their favorite creative worlds.
Experimenting with robotics
Getting into electronics in general is extremely satisfying for curious kids, but robotics has extra appeal for two key reasons: firstly, people of all ages like robots because of the coolness factor, and secondly, they make it easy to choose the level of complexity and difficulty. Want something minimally-taxing to spark some creative thoughts on a dull afternoon? Setting up an obstacle course for a Sphero Mini and programming a path through it might be the perfect solution.
And if your child really has a knack for robotics and wants something more challenging, you can easily oblige by setting more in-depth challenges — and as you do so, you can explain about the various component parts that are necessary (accelerometers, gyroscopes, etc.) to spark their interest in developing custom robots at some point down the line.
Ideating a small business
No, we’re not suggesting anything approaching child labor! Instead, think about kids deciding to set up lemonade stands or find things they can sell at their schools. Entrepreneurship has a lot to offer when it comes to creativity because of the obvious financial incentive: if you find it hard to motivate your child, then maybe the prospect of making some extra money would push them.
With most schools closed at the moment, you can get them thinking about other business types. In principle, they could run a cheap online store, using dropshipping to sell products picked from an existing lineup. If they did, what would they call it? What products would they sell, and why? How would they market the store? Use social media? Produce video ads?
They don’t need to actually run a business: just come up with an interesting plan. If they had a really great idea then you could legitimately launch it, of course, but that isn’t the point. The goal is primarily to get them coming up with creative ideas that could have real-world viability. Hasn’t everyone at some point dreamed about coming up with a million-dollar concept?
Trying creative video games
For various reasons, kids have seen their screen time go up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and if your child is spending a lot of time playing games then it’s up to you to make that time useful by ensuring that it’s minimally passive. That’s where creative games and STEM-inspired activities come in handy. Minecraft is a great suggestion due to its deep mechanics (even including circuitry), and there are plenty of alternatives out there such as Terraria or even Opus Magnum.
When they play, try talking to them about their decision-making process. What are they trying to achieve, and why? How do they intend to reach their goals? Relaying their thoughts will help them understand the mechanics better and give you valuable insight into where they might need some additional support — you can then offer guidance where it’s warranted or requested.
Creative children need a lot of help to make the most of their potential, and it’s all too easy to dampen that creativity by failing to provide it. Fun activities will help your child pursue their creative enthusiasm — and these activities in particular are worth trying.
Opinions expressed by Sphero.com contributors are their own.