Kids are inherently creative. It is the building block of self-expression, an important aspect to retain as we progress into adulthood. Apart from allowing individuals to attain self-realization, the ability to express feelings and experiences fosters emotional health. The amount of creativity they are allowed during their developmental years directly correlates to how creative they are as they progress to adulthood, often affecting how they form bonds with others in their later years.
To tie both aural and visual creativity together, Hamilton Buhl designed the first and only customizable stereo headphones. Available in blue, gray, pink and yellow, they come with swivel ear cups, adjustable headbands and removable plastic guards where designs can be traded out based on what your little one is feeling for the day. They produce stereo sound and are compatible with virtually every device on the market, making them ideal to foster your growing little one’s love of music. For customization, head to KidzPhonz.com and print out a template. Let your child decorate each one however they want and switch the designs on the ear cups as many times as they want.
This importance of creativity has been shown through research throughout the decades. Drawing, playing and otherwise letting out emotions helps children develop something known as divergent thinking. This process involves using rational thinking to solve complex problems—something we do every day to plan for the future or tackle issues at work. Unfortunately, this world of continual testing and single answers limits how our children think, forcing them to limit the possibilities of an answer to either A, B, C or D. Though schools are slowly starting to move toward more open-minded testing standards, that future is still a long way off. To counter this, the best thing you can do is to give your child as many creative outlets as is necessary.
There are steps you can take to build up your child’s freedom of expression. One, for instance, is limiting TV time. The other end of this tactic means providing them with potential things they can do instead of watching television. Artistic pursuits, musical endeavors and dress up are all affordable alternatives to screen time that keep the imagination running. Aside from this, when you check out preschools or daycares, make sure their curriculum is equal parts play and equal parts learning. Children integrate what they learn through playtime and art. It is an essential means to enhancing their minds. Likewise, make sure the instructors are creative themselves, otherwise they will too easily fall into the trappings of routine.
When you’re together, bring your child out to experience a lot of different things. Multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and community events, even for adults, expand possibilities within the mind along with bolstering creativity. These experiences give the child even more outlets to draw from as they go to express themselves. It also makes them more accepting of all the different ways of expression they might otherwise shy away from because the ways are different from how things are normally done.
Just remember to always be supportive. Child artists are not Van Gogh’s or da Vinci’s. They are young and inexperienced. If you insult what they put on their headphones or what they are listening to, you kill something they truly enjoy, stifling an avenue of expression. If they like what they draw and it’s not offensive, what right do you have to tell them not to do it? Children’s minds are incredibly fragile, fully open to what you tell them because to them, you are perfect. Only after they hit adulthood do they begin to realize your faults. If you spend time stopping them from pursuing something they truly enjoy, their resentment in their teenage years should come as no surprise. After all, the reason they can only express themselves through anger is because you took away the other ways they used to express themselves.