It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to quantify our children’s learning. Do they know all their letters and numbers? How many of their times tables have they memorised? Although these skills are important, child development experts agree that creativity is an essential part of early learning which lays the foundation for future education and for their adult life.
Creativity is when your child uses their imagination to create something without an expected outcome and without guidance or instruction from us as parents or teachers. It is open-ended activities where there could be an infinite number of results limited only by your child’s imagination!
The obvious application is arts and crafts. But creativity is so much more! It is anything that encourages a child’s natural curiosity and lets them develop skills in problem solving and strategic thinking.
How can parents and teachers encourage creativity?
The time when children can explore creativity is during unstructured, free play time. Sometimes as parents we are so concerned about giving our children every opportunity, that we over-schedule them and they miss out on that time to explore and create.
Provide your children with resources and let them play! This can be arts and crafts supplies without instructions or a finished product to replicate. Glue, paint, coloured paper, stickers, pom poms, pipecleaners…This can be a multi age activity and great for weekends and school holidays.
Other materials can include construction bricks, modeling dough and foam, and building blocks.
These are some of our favourite toys that will encourage creativity!
FOR KIDS OF 0 TO 2
First Play Bristle Bricks
These sticky bricks are a great early alternative to wooden blocks suitable for children from 6 months. There are 24 colourful blocks that are textured to stack and attach at any angle. The Bristle Bricks are safety and quality tested and made from tough kid-friendly stuff so you can use them with confidence.
FOR KIDS OF 3 TO 4
Learning Resources PlayFoam 8 Pack
PlayFoam is a great product for children to manipulate into creative shapes. PlayFoam is completely mess free, it does not stick to hands, clothes or carpet and it never dries out. The bead-like structure promotes sensory perception and fine motors skill development. Best of all, its non-toxic formula offers safe creative play from 3 years and suitable for older children too. This pack includes original and sparkle pods in eight vibrant colours. You can also find more Learning Resource PlayFoam products on our website.
FOR KIDS OF 5 TO 7
Icando Deluxe 5 In 1 Easel
Icando is a Kidstuff brand that is all about creativity. The Icando Deluxe 5 In 1 Easel is one of our bestselling products, and it’s easy to see why. It’s made of Premium solid European beechwood and includes:
1 & 2/ A magnetic chalkboard
4/ Felt Board
5/ Clip Board
It also includes four spill resistant paint cups and a convenient storage tray. It’s quick to assemble and folds neatly for storage. Kidstuff has a great range of paints and craft supplies to go with the easel and the options for creativity are truly endless! The easel is suitable from 3 years up so you can be assured of many years of creativity!
Kidstuff also has a great range of paints and craft supplies.
FOR AGES OF 8+ years
Laser Pegs 12 in 1 Space Cruiser
The universe is your playground when you explore it with this 12-in-1 Space Cruiser kit from Laser Pegs® Builder! Assemble your exploration crew and build the Planet Wrecker, Spaceship 5, Battlestar Cruiser, and many more. Send your creations into light speed as you light them up for a building experience like none other!
Laser Pegs offer older children and young adults a fun alternative to the traditional construction toy by illuminating their surroundings with patented light bricks and vibrant colour combinations. Laser Pegs are unique STEM toys that enhance learning of spatial relations, creative abstract thinking, problem solving and math skills by grouping, and improving hand/eye coordination. The goal is to encourage innovation, creativity, and excitement while building one set or an entire world of Laser Pegs.