Today’s post is guest post by Mr. Neow ker Eong and its about the very important topic,How toys can be used to foster creative habits in children.Playing is important part of child’s life and it’s great if parents can foster creative habits in them by using this playtime. Neow Ker Eong is the executive for Brain Bytes, a company that focuses on hands-on project based learning to create an engaging learning experience for students to spark their interest in S.T.E.A.M. subjects. He has been in education sector for at least 2 years and specialises in S.T.E.A.M, project based and engineering learning. You can contact him at neow <at> brainbytes.org. Lets see what’s there for us in the interesting article ahead. Over to neow’s article.
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Remember the days when you had no idea what type of toys to buy for your children? I am glad that the bullet was dodged when you read our tips on choosing toys to nurture your child’s creativity.
Now that you have bought the toys, I would like to give you some suggestions on what you can do to get the maximum results out of the toys for your children. While buying toys that can foster your children to be any of the big adjectives people use to describe their children- innovative, creative and imaginative doesn’t sound like it’s a walk in the park, it actually is. Well, not that easy, but not that difficult too. It is something that you can do every day.
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1.Set realistic expectations
This method is useful for children who give up easily or always doubt themselves. Parents can help them break down a huge task into a lot of small and simple tasks. Lowering your success threshold or giving them simple tasks that children are guaranteed able to achieve the goal. It will slowly become part of their habits after repeating it over time.
Let me give you an example. Put on a simple task on Day 1 such as filling a simple 2D template using fischer TiPs that can be completed within 15 minutes and compliment them for that. You can post a complex task such as creating a 3D Monster Inc character using fischer TiPs when they feel comfortable with the toy. Your children can feel good for themselves after achieving that complex task.
2. Let parents be their accountability partner
Let children be accountable to their parents. To instill habits in your children, parents can become their accountability partner by tracking their progress of a task. As a leader in your children’s development process, use reward and coercive power. Parents can include incentives and consequences during creative tasks to foster it to become their habits. You can set up an incentives and consequences system for your children at the start. You can reward or use coercive power based on their progress of a task. Remember to tell them before you start a task. For example, if children can manage to tell you 20 or more uses of a pen, then they can have extra 15 minutes of tv time. It forces them to think creatively to achieve the goal.
3. Give great & specific feedback
Remember to show enthusiasm when talking to your children. It is important to be careful when talking to your children because they are sensitive and have a delicate emotion. Jean Van’t Hul gives some important tips on how to speak to your children in her blog, The Artful Parent so you can check it out. Refrain yourselves from saying “that’s beautiful/pretty/cool” automatically with or without looking at it first and NEVER ask a simple question like “What is it?” because it can be insulting for a child who thinks that her project is clearly recognisable. Go a long mile by complimenting on his/her art more specifically.
For example, “I like how you draw the hair on this girl’s picture” or “That’s a great portrayal of a scenery”.By showing enthusiasm, children are more excited to make their arts and encourage them to keep on their awesome work.
Image via http://justdakhila.com/blog/parenting/kids-3-6-years/tips-to-be-the-best-parents-for-kids.
3. Get children to be involved in decision making
Parents normally make big and small decisions for their children even decision of buying which toys. It has passed over the opportunity for children to learn to make decision. When children are making decision, they have to think deeply about their reason in making certain decision.
Simple actions such as asking their opinions about the things you do or buy for them and ask the reasons for their answer – “why such is your answer?”. Getting them to think deeply about their reasons can promote critical thinking and imperative element in forming creative habit.Their suggestions can be used as a guideline on your next toys purchase. While you are able to save a fortune, your children can have an enhanced playing experience. Here are our tips on how to choose toys for your children. Start with the provided tips and go upward in the performance trajectory by using your children’s perspective on their favourite toys.
Image via http://justdakhila.com/blog/parenting/kids-3-6-years/tips-to-be-the-best-parents-for-kids/
4. Create challenges and limitations
Provide different challenges for your children. This can keep them from feeling bored and result to diverting their attention to other things they find more interesting. Limitations and challenges always allow children to think out of the box to find solutions. Provide at least an example if they are stuck. By giving even one simple example, it can trigger their imagination to create things that you do not expect.For example, you can use the circumstances in a building brick challenge.
“It is raining heavily outside. It is going to cause flood and we are going to lose our house.It would be nice to have a house that floats, don’t you think?”
That’s the type of question you can pose as a challenge. As they are finishing their challenge, maybe you can provide one example such as building a floatation device around the house or ask questions like “do you think the material you use the on door can withstand rain and hot weather?” It will become part of their thinking habit if parents do it frequently.
Now, it doesn’t sound like a hard job, does it? It is totally doable. After buying toys for your children, get straight to playing with them using the tips here because when getting new toys, kids are usually excited to play with them. And having Mommy and Daddy play with them too will increase the excitement.
Many points of the posts are collected from various online sources.