Teach Kids How to Be Creative

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Find out how I stopped fearing creativity and what you can do to help teach your children and students how to be creative.

By: Andrea Mulder-Slater

What does it mean to be creative?

Is it the ability to paint, sing, or dance? Or is it simply the willingness to try something you might not normally attempt?

Pablo Picasso was right when he said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once s/he grows up.” We are all born to create. You’ve probably witnessed this in your kids.

Children aren’t afraid to sing at the top of their lungs, dance around the living room, or make pictures with crayons. Yet, somewhere along the line, as we get older, we stop doing those things that filled us with such joy as youngsters and we start saying things like, “I’m not creative.”


The answer is simple: It’s because we’re afraid of doing it wrong.

I once had a drawing instructor who performed a little experiment on her class. She challenged us to make marks on paper. The kicker was, we were to make these marks without using any art supplies.There were about twenty of us in the group and we all sat there – frozen – wondering how in the world we were supposed to draw something without picking up a pen or pencil.

We had no idea what she wanted us to do. And so, for fear of making a mistake, we did nothing.

Nothing at all.

Time dragged on until suddenly, one student stood up. He laid his paper on the ground and sprinkled some water from his water bottle on it. Then, after scuffing his shoes around on the cement floor, he proceeded to make marks on his paper with his feet. My teacher shouted, “Bravo!” while the rest of us looked on in disbelief.

Make marks on paper without using art supplies.

The point had been made.

Being creative isn’t about drawing or painting a perfect picture or hitting just the right notes in a song. It’s about thinking outside the box and coming up with interesting ways to solve problems. It’s about not being afraid to use a part of your brain that you’ve been neglecting. These days there’s a lot of talk about fostering imagination and curiosity in our children. Case in point: this Forbes article titled, “How Kids Lose Their Creativity As They Age (And How To Prevent It).” We all want the best for our kids but in reality, when it comes to nurturing their natural inventiveness, many of us feel ill equipped.

We know that to “raise a reader” we need to read to our kids and let our kids see us reading. So, we can use that same logic to raise creative kids.

This is why my mom and I created KinderArt.com so many years ago.

It’s here where you can find fun, imaginative activities you can try on your own and with your children. So, thank you for joining us and remember… there are no wrong answers.

This article first appeared on YMC with the title Get Dirty, Make Art.