How to develop creative thinking in a child
child development, Childhood Education

How to develop creative thinking in a child?

10 Easy ways you can help developed creative thinking in a child


Do you sometimes wonder why some children struggle to think creatively while some seem to be able to effortlessly generate new ideas? Well, the answer lies in their ability to think creatively. Despite there is a common misconception about creative thinking being an inborn talent rather than a skill, It is true that some children are born with traits that actually help them in developing certain skills but this shouldn’t act to avert the development of creative thinking.

Creativity is more of a skill than a talent, it is an ability both parents and teachers can teach, develop, and encourage. In other words, creative thinking is a skill that can be nurtured and developed. For a child to be creative, the child has to think creatively.

Developing creative thinking is not a hard skill to instill in a child. In fact, it’s not such a big deal, which makes it important to nurture such thinking in kids from a very young age. Most children that are being described as creative are individuals who have worked hard at practicing this skill.

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Creative thinking begins with the mind, it does not need inventing. It is something that already exists within each and every individual. As a child start to learn how to express himself, we need to encourage them and make them know that thinking creatively is not complicated.

What is creative thinking?

Creative thinking can be defined as a way of looking at problems or situations from a different perspective that suggests unusual solutions. It is the different approach or process which we use to come up with a new idea.

 Creative thinking is also the ability to see a problem from a new perspective or angle. It means using unorthodox solutions in solving problems. Creative thinking can be stimulated by brain storming, problem solving, the use of puzzles and thinking outside the box. It is therefore, the ability to think, create and interpret situations.

Importance of creative thinking

Helping a child develop creative thinking is important because it helps in shaping the mental growth of a child by creating opportunities for trying out new ideas, solving problems and also providing a new way of thinking.

Creative thinking in a child also helps with children’s all-round development. It is important for teachers, parents, educators and counselors to understand the essence of creativity on a child’s well-being.

How to help a child develop creative thinking?

There are several ways by which you can cultivate and inculcate creative thinking in a child. It includes but not limited to below curated list

Ask open ended question

Open-ended questions are questions that requires more than one-word answers. The answers could be in form of a sentence, list, or a speech. It is a question that requires a full answer, using the subject’s own perspective or knowledge which will allow such child express himself.

 Open-ended questions are a great way to make a child think creatively as well as encouraging problem solving. Examples of open-ended questions that can make your child think creatively are;

  • Why do you think…?
  • Can you give an example of…?
  • What did you use to make it?
  • How can you solve this problem?

Questions like this prompt a conversation because they can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no.” 

As a teacher or parent, you should adopt open-ended questions when dealing with kids because it is a way to get them to think on their own. Naturally, children are born with the ability to solve problems so it is essential for parents and teachers to allow kids to solve problems and also to come up with creative solutions.

Trigger their curiosity

Children are born with a curious mind and they want to know about everything and anything. It is the responsibility of the teachers, parents, caregivers and guardians to provide crucial and interesting indications to drive a child’s curiosity to the right direction.

 You can talk to your child about societal situations and how it can affect the life of animals and human beings. By triggering their curiosity, and having meaningful conversations with them, it will make them more inquisitive and also make them think creatively. Therefore, it is advisable as a parent and teacher to get a child’s curiosity going in a way that would make them want to know more.

Encourage thinking in different ways

Thinking differently means to be expressive in your views, be bold about your choices and to be artistically true to yourself. It simply means to be innovative and smart with your ideas and views. When you allow children to think differently, you are simply helping them activate their creative problem-solving skills.

Also note that children learn from studying and observing how you think when you are around them. It is however essential to think creatively when you are around them, this will make them think differently. Allowing your child to solve problems and think differently is integral to developing your child’s creative thinking skills.

As kids’ lovers, you should allow your children understand that there are multiple ways to solve a problem and different perspectives to look at things. Encourage your children to find more than one solution to a problem, and finding more than one route to solving a problem. When your children find a solution to a problem, you can ask them to solve it again but to find a new and different way to do it. This approach gives your children to express their divergent thought. You can let them disagree with you when their ideas or perspectives are different from yours.

Negate the act of saying “No idea”

Ideas are indications of critical and creative thinking. Children are full of fresh ideas in their minds every time, and a child’s thinking has no boundaries so you should not let your children go beyond the boundaries and think differently. Also avoid ridiculing their ideas or say their irrelevant because it will discredit the creativity attached with it.

Your children will obviously come up with bad ideas but try to bring up the good parts and help them understand the consequence and implementation of such ideas that are not suitable. Endeavor to always encourage their good ideas and thus will motivate them to think creatively.

Children who are scared of making mistakes rarely think creatively. In order to develop your children to think creatively, you need to create an environment for kids to be creative. Make them understand that it is okay to make mistakes and accept their mistakes when they do something new. Motivate and support your children in their small ideas.

Help pursue their passions

You should pay attention to what your children are passionate about and make these materials available to them. Support your children’s interests and take what they love serious. If for instance, your child is interested in geology then buy books on the topic with rock samples.

It is common as a parent to persuade your child to partake in hobbies or sports we love or want them to be good at. It is actually a good idea to expose them to a range of activities but it is advisable to give them freedom to choose their area of focus or interest for it can foster their creative mind.

Allow him/her independence and freedom

Allowing kids to explore their ideas and interests on their own is a good way to encourage them to think creatively because there is no limit to what they might come up with. Give room for some freedom to follow their ideas will make them experience life with open arms. You can help your children to learn how to be independent by allowing them make their decisions.

Make sure you are okay with the choices you are offering to them, allow them to choose and make the final decision. You should restrain yourself from bossing them around and allow them go out because the outside world teaches a child’s mind and it allows them to identify their hidden talents.

Encourage reading

Reading is a creative habit so you must encourage your children to read for pleasure and not just when they have tests or exams only. You should inculcate the habit of reading a variety of books in your children so that their thinking capacity will be strong. You should limit TV and other screen time so your children can develop creative hobbies like reading, drawing, or poetry. Reading stimulates the thought activity which promotes creativity.

Reading can help your children in several ways, it can help them understand and express themselves better. It can also help them in learning new things and in turn develop their logical thinking. You can take them to visit the library frequently and can get him/her books by their favorite authors and discuss their favorite characters with them. This will help you to know how your child thinks.

Don’t reward or praise them

You should not reward or praise your child in extra for thinking creatively or being creative. Offering incentives to your children can hinder their thinking process which reduces the quality of their flexibility and responses ability to think creatively. It is understandable that you want to motivate your children to be creative so it makes sense to reward and praise them when they are creative but this can reduce their efficiency so it is better to avoid praising or rewarding them. The secret to a long-term creative thinking is to be intrinsically motivated.

If you want to motivate your children about their work, you can ask them how they came up with their idea, if they enjoyed doing what they did and what they will like to do next. You should avoid placing more emphasis on their creative skills because this can hinder them from thinking creatively rather than deepening their understanding and passion.

Allow children to express their intelligence

Intelligence can be defined as the capacity for understanding, logic, critical thinking, problem-solving and reasoning. Every child inherits a certain potential for developing intelligence. Children understand and explore the environment through their senses. Even though there are different types of intelligence, it can be developed over time even if the child is not exhibiting the characteristics. Give your child opportunities to express all the types of intelligence then you can pick up on what they can do best.

Make your child question things

A very good and effective way of developing creative thinking in children is to make them wonder and trigger their curiosity. When you are with your children ask them questions that will make them wonder and ponder.

  • You can ask questions like why is the sky blue?
  • Why do you wake up in the morning?
  • How does gravity work?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? And so on.

Explaining things like that to them would make them curious about things, and it will also enhance their problem-solving and imaginative skills.

In conclusion, this article has discussed the importance of creative thinking skills regards to child’s development and how to develop creative thinking in a child. And emphasis is laid on the responsibility of a parent, teacher, caregiver and all kids loves to help develop creativity in a child because the growth of a child’s mind is essential and creativity is important to achieve this.

I hope you find this helpful, please share for other parents to benefit. You indeed want to tell us your opinion, kindly use our comment box below. We are always happy to hear from our readers. To receive more educative contents alike’ subscribe below or use the follow us button at the bottom left. Thanks for reading.

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