Creative outlets can prove beneficial to children on a number of different fronts. For starters, they can imbue kids with a genuine sense of accomplishment and encourage them to express what they’re feeling. Additionally, a good creative outlet can effectively reduce stress and anxiety and leave children feeling good about themselves. Unfortunately, steering kids towards creative outlets can sometimes be an uphill battle. While some children are simply itching to express themselves creatively, others need an extra push. Parents looking for ways to help their kids flex their creative muscles can benefit from the following tips.
Have Them Keep a Journal
If a child isn’t creatively-inclined, it’s generally not a good idea to overwhelm them with hobbies that fall well outside of their comfort zone. The less familiar a creative outlet seems, the more likely they are to pull back. With this in mind, parents should start small when dealing with children who have never taken part in a creative hobby. Journaling, for example, can be a fantastic gateway outlet. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it doesn’t require a great deal of time or effort. You can also make journaling seem more appealing by purchasing kids stationery, stickers and other fun creative tools. The more tools they have at their disposal, the more fun they’ll have – and the more intricate their journal entries will become.
Since you don’t want journaling to seem like too much of a chore, you shouldn’t require your children to produce entries every day. Requesting that they produce two to three entries per week can make this hobby seem considerably more manageable and reduce the likelihood of kids feeling overwhelmed and giving up. Of course, if they want to go beyond the stated minimum, you should fully encourage this. Furthermore, in addition to writing, your kids should feel free to add illustrations to their journal entries.
Look for Hobbies That Comport with Your Children’s Individual Interests
If a creative outlet comports with a child’s individual interests, the child is more likely to pursue the outlet in earnest. That being the case, when searching for suitable creative outlets, take care to consider what your kids are into. For example, if your child is interested in comics or graphic novels, invest in some instructional drawing books or enroll them in a local drawing class. Similarly, if you have a child whose interests skew more towards digital art, a good graphics tablet can be a worthwhile investment. Children who are fascinated by the performing arts may enjoy taking part in acting classes, singing lessons or community theatre programs.
Make a Designated Creative Space
Making a designated creative space in your home can provide children with a great place to let their individual passions flow. Children who enjoy acting and/or singing are sure to appreciate having an open space in which to rehearse and hone their acting abilities. Kids who are passionate about creating art can benefit from having an area in which they can fully concentrate on perfecting their various crafts. Additionally, if any of your children play instruments, having a designated practice area will make them more likely to create music at home.
Lead by Example
Many children imitate behaviors they observe in their parents. This means that if you encourage them to do something but fail to take part in the same type of activity, they’re less likely to follow your recommendation. You can nip this problem in the bud by taking up a creative hobby of your own. This isn’t to say that you’ll need to spend all of your leisure time engaged in this hobby, but if any of your kids need an extra push to get involved in something creative, seeing you flex your creative muscles can help bring them around. Additionally, if your interests align, you may want to consider getting involved in the same creative hobbies as your children.
People of all ages can benefit from creative outlets – and children are no exception. Getting involved in a creative hobby can be a boon to one’s inner calmness and mental health. Such hobbies can also alleviate boredom and provide children with a sense of purpose. While getting kids interested in pursuing creative outlets can sometimes be an uphill battle, they long-term benefits should ultimately prove well worth your efforts.
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