As Spanish painter and surrealist pioneer Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” 

Indeed, as children, we find art to be enjoyable, enriching and intuitive. What child isn’t naturally inspired to draw, paint, craft and create? 

But as adults, we find it more difficult to engage with that part of ourselves. This can be for a number of reasons – often, we lack the time, energy and resources to be creative. In many cases, we simply grow out of that uninhibited instinct to express ourselves on paper. Consequently, the longer we go without exploring our innate creativity, the more we find ourselves lacking the confidence to try again, leaving us with a well of untapped potential. 

It is a challenge to each of us as individuals. But as parents, we also have a duty to our children to guide and inspire them, and instil them with belief in their own abilities. We must encourage them to follow their dreams and nurture them to express their inner selves and explore new and difficult emotions in healthy ways – something art teaches us to do well.

Why is creativity important to a child’s development?

Research also suggests that those who adopt a hobby in childhood and make it part of their regular routine are more likely to continue it in later life.

What are the different ways of nurturing creativity?

There are many, but here are four ways to integrate creativity innately as part of their everyday lives now and in the future. 

1. Show them that anything is possible

There is nothing more magical than a child’s faith. A young mind can believe that anything is possible, and as parents, we must encourage them to hold on to that belief. 

Expose them to examples of strong-minded individuals, whether artists, athletes, scientists or leaders who followed their dreams and achieved the impossible. By filling their young minds with stories of success, you show them that everything is within their reach. This is an excellent way to teach children to have confidence in their own ideas, no matter what their ambitions may be. 

Tell them the stories of the giants whose shoulders they’re standing on too– it’s always helpful to a young artist to understand the significant figures that have come before them. Though teaching children about the rich history of art is often a challenge, there are plenty of fantastic resources online which bring the subject to life and open their young minds to the vast possibilities of creativity. 

2. Nurture Your Child’s Creativity By Doing It Together 

Children imitate their parents, so it helps to lead by example. 

But if you don’t know a pencil from a paintbrush, it’s difficult to get started. 

Think outside of the box to find creative projects that can be enjoyed as a family, whether that’s as simple as drawing together or trying something completely different, like recycled crafts. Not only is it a great way to spend time together, but it can also be good for your own wellbeing and who knows – it could be your new favourite hobby!

If you feel like exploring arts and crafts as a solo endeavour, that’s great too. Adult colouring books can be a great starting point for absolute beginners, or for something a little more advanced, why not check out some basic art tutorials on YouTube?   

Also Read: Nurturing Creativity: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Creative Skills

3. Break the boundaries often to nurture your child’s creativity 

Art comes in many different forms, and though most children enjoy painting, drawing and simple crafts, it’s may not be something they enjoy long-term

And that’s fine! People connect to different artistic mediums in their own way, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creativity. Make sure your children have access to art of all kinds, whether that’s film, music, literature or any other format. 

Exposing them to different types of art nurtures the imagination and helps the mind eye to see in full colour, forming a creative vision your child can pursue. 

Follow these three tips to nurture your child’s creativity and remember that above all else, support and encouragement are the best gifts a young artist can receive. 

4. Teach them to see art in everything 

As adults, we objectively understand that there is an element of art in everything we see. Books, films, TV shows, advertising, graphic design, architecture – none of these things could exist without the artistic vision of talented creators. 

How do you explain creativity to a child?

But for those of who don’t live and breathe art in the same way, it’s easy to forget the level of creativity that goes on behind the scenes in just about everything. Nurture your child’s creativity by reminding them that even things which appear mundane or everyday can be the glue that holds creative magic together, and that inspiration can come from the most unexpected places, and even the most unlikely things make for art.

One good example of such an unlikely combination of art and mundane everyday tools is Ormiston Wire. Their wire products have been used in a number of applications, including sculptures and instalments across the country, but one of their best-known successes was their work on the Thunderbirds TV series, where they helped to perfect the supermarionation technique. The innovative thinking which fuelled the development of their product, was crucial in pioneering this era-defining cinematic method. 

Also Read: Creative Problem Solving: Understanding Significance And Impact With Examples

Photo by Allan Mas from Pexels

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Devishobha Chandramouli

Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha- a global parenting and education collective, and the host of the global virtual conferences hosted on the platform. You can also find her voice on the Huffington Post, Mother.ly, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, TinyBuddha, Thought Catalog and many other publications.

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