How to Raise Creative Kids, According to a CEO

It’s an interesting day and age to raise kids, don’t you agree? There are so many seemingly “right” and “wrong” ways to teach kids to read, count, spell, instill manners, and a sense of respect- all in the name of bringing up decent, contributing members of society.

But along the way, through all of the advice books and lessons that can cause a parent’s brain to fog, creativity is the one pillar that can fall by the wayside.

We asked Debbie Sterling, CEO of GoldieBlox, how parents can go about cultivating creativity in their Minis and here’s what she had to say:

Get back to the basics

Research has found that children need unstructured, child-directed, imaginative play– unencumbered by adult direction. Give them a specific place where they can make a mess and experiment. Consider open-use toys that encourage kids to use their imaginations and create stories for their toys. This was the inspiration behind our Craft-Struction Box- complete open-ended building for unlimited creativity.

Answer questions with questions

Children ask lots of questions and often, parents give them direct answers. Instead of giving a child a direct answer, try helping them put together the context to their question and hazard a good guess to foster creative thinking.

Teach your children to cook

Encourage children to help cook and bake family meals. Once your child has managed the basics of cooking or baking, let them experiment. By experimenting and seeing what happens, they build creative problem-solving skills. If the cake is too dry, make a moist frosting! Also, cooking is a delicious way to learn about fractions!

Make them draw

Writing and painting are important tools for developing a child’s creative side.
This could be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as by asking them to sketch something from their imagination or by providing them with the materials they need to bring their fantasy into reality. If you see that your child is enjoying the process of creating something out of scratch, then you may want to get them some tools like Canva (for more info, check https://serp.co/reviews/canva/)so that they can improve their aesthetic ability.

Don’t be afraid of math

Research shows that when mothers display a fear of math in front of their children, it trickles down- but interestingly enough, only to the girls. Instead of declaring in front of your kids” I’m bad at math,” own your math skills. After all, you use math every day to balance your checkbook or calculate a tip at a restaurant. Show your kids how you use math in everyday life.

Emphasize process rather than product

Ask questions about the process. Did you have fun? What did you like about the activity? How could you do this again? Encourage them to try to solve a problem again in a new way. Reinforce the message that failing and trial and error is a natural and critical part of learning and improving.

Don’t be afraid of boredom

Parents often respond to kids’ boredom by providing structured activities or technology. Unstructured time challenges kids to engage with themselves and allow their imagination to bloom.

How do you foster creativity in your kids? 

You can learn more about GoldieBlox here or stick around and read up on How to Talk to Your Kids About Emotions.