- Strengthening Creative Play Skills
There are a number of ways to encourage your child’s creativity. As your child plays, you could ask questions that help your child elaborate their stories. Asking questions like “What happens next?” and “How are they feeling?” helps guide your child to develop a cohesive story. In addition, it engages them in the story so that they may think about ideas they may not have come up with otherwise, and encourages them to persevere and continue playing with an idea.
Caretakers should try not to not pressure the child to develop a story, but rather, it is important to observe and offer guidance when the child seems “stuck,” and to praise your child often for expressing emotions and using their imagination. Paying attention to your child’s playtime activities tells them that play is important. It also allows them to express themselves and communicate in a way that is most accessible to them. It is helpful to set aside time for your child to play freely without outside distractions and to offer times in the day when your child can play spontaneously.
To help your child think creatively, you might try asking questions like:
- What would it be like to have an amusement park all to yourself?
- What would it be like to go to a zoo on the moon?
- What would you do if you had a pet dinosaur?
- How many different ways can we use this block?
Or make up a story together. You could offer suggestions like making up a story about a boy or girl who has special powers.
Also, remember that it’s important to give your child time to play out their ideas and think creatively on their own without adult involvement.