In the past, we’ve been guilty of overlooking the importance of creative play for kids. It’s now recognised as an important type of play, that will nurture growth in almost every aspect. By incorporating creative play ideas for kids, you’ll be helping them improve their social skills, motor skills, emotional intelligence and problem-solving attributes.
When you put it like that, you understand how enjoyable play of this magnitude can be vital.
Offering children, the opportunity to embrace their imagination, is the cornerstone to developing socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.
So why is creative play important for kids? There are many easy ways to help children get involved in art, design and other creative activities, we list many of them below.
The Benefits of Creative Play
There’s a huge range of creative activities that can be integrated into a child’s routine and as discussed above, there’s unlimited growth synonymous with doing so. Four of the main areas of development can help them grow into an intelligent, caring being.
Here are some of the benefits of creative play for children:
- Manage Emotions- Identifying emotions can be a difficult feat for anybody, especially young children- allowing them to understand their emotions is important. It can affect self-confidence amongst much more. Activities such as arts and crafts, give a platform for them to express themselves, understand emotions and describe what they’re feeling. Outdoor play can also help with improving children’s mental health.
- Social Skills- Group or pair activities can strengthen their social skills. These skills can be sharpened on a number of levels, not only can they join others and play but they will also understand how different each person is, and this is key to know from a young age.
- Improve Physical Development- Physical development isn’t as simple as letting kids run wild. Instead, by allowing them to paint it will improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. By encouraging dancing and drama, you will be helping them improve fitness and gross motor skills.
- Cognitive Development- Creative thinking gets the brain firing, that’s true for adults and children alike. Imaginative activities immerse you and improve concentration. Not only that but as you begin to try various tools and ways of approaching activities, it opens up new cognitive pathways.
- Well-being- It’s pretty obvious that, if you help to develop all of the aforementioned, you are improving well-being. Creative activities can help young children learn and improve their overall well-being. Take away the competitive nature that’s often forced on them from early on and instead allow them to express through arts.
Boosting Creativity in Schools
With all of the benefits of inspirational tasks and different arts, it’s something that all schools should be involving on a day-to-day basis. We’re used to seeing drama, physical activities and even some form of art or drawing as part of the curriculum.
Nonetheless, being able to boost creativity in schools would be hugely beneficial for both teachers and pupils. We can’t underestimate the importance of creative tasks and imaginative play, many of these types of lessons should be available to kids more often than once a week.
How could schools improve creative play? It’s pretty simple; they could do it by encouraging more broad thinking and less linear education. It’s not difficult and wouldn’t impact other learning, it could be enjoyed through drama, dance, outdoor play with obstacles and more.
Creative Play and Child Development
Creative play can help children’s development as a whole, not only will it improve their physical and cognitive function, but studies have shown other areas in which it can be beneficial. This means that we require all children to participate in various imaginative activities.
Here are some ways for you to encourage creativity in play:
- Allow pretend play
- Sharing art between friends and family
- Set up various creative games and tasks
- Take them to a playground or outdoor obstacle course
- It is good for them to experiment
- Promote problem solving activities
- Give descriptive praise, pick up on something and describe back to them what you enjoyed from their art
They are just some of the ways in which you can allow your child to reap the rewards of creative play activities, we have also listed more ways further down. Their overall development counts heavily on the types of play and skills they learn from a young age, and we’re beginning to notice that- due to the increase of research on the matter.
If you want to help their well-being and overall development then you should try to encourage as much play as possible, don’t feel as though it’s wasted time or that they’re not necessarily learning.
Children’s Art and Design Activities
In this day and age, it never takes long to find art and design activities, especially with the evolution of media, it provides another outlet for creative and art activities.
Here are some of the main categories:
- Music & Dance
- Creative Writing
- Digital Media
- Arts and Crafts
- Outside Play
- Role Play
One of the go-to activities, is usually something along the lines of arts and crafts. We’re lucky as we don’t always need to get too inventive, as there’s plenty to buy for cheap, sure to get our creative one’s brains flowing. Arts and crafts includes design, drawing, colouring, painting, sticking and more.
Music, dance and drama are forms of art, yet they’re also physical. This is something that is integrated into school routine, but that’s not to say it can’t be also enjoyed from home. Get them learning an instrument, dancing or buy props to let them dress up and play a character. These can all improve physical development in general.
Also, don’t forget that outdoor play is one of the most natural forms of creative play. There are options of obstacle courses, balance beams and climbing apparatus. There’s also surfaces marked with fun and imaginative games for the little ones!
As you can see, there are lots of benefits of creative play for kids of all ages. These activities help with problem solving as well as encouraging kids to develop basic skills on the playground.
Why not give some of these games a try at your school and see how they can benefit children.