Little boy with painted hands

Three Smart Tips to Fostering Your Child’s Creative Side!!

Every parent wants their child to grow up to be well-rounded, right?

However, doing so is easier than done in our tech-crazy, hustle and bustle world. With little times in our schedules and the never-ending temptation to stick our kids in front of the television to get some peace and quiet, how can we possibly find time to encourage our kids’ creative side?

First of all, relax. Bear in mind that there’s only so much control we have in terms of how our children grow up: all we can do is create the best environment we possibly can. In my experience, creating that creative spark is actually pretty simple.

While there might be some struggles here and there, encouraging your child to use their imagination and fostering their creative side requires three distinct steps. Consider the following if you’re concerned about your child’s well-being and want to make sure you’re giving them the creative support they need.

Be a Role Model

If you want your kids to get involved with the arts, they need to see you as a role model for such behavior.

I don’t have much of a creative bone in my body, but I’ve actually made it a habit to begin handwriting letters and drawing sketches in my spare time which absolutely fascinates my daughter. While she’s not quite old enough to write herself, she loves watching me and copycatting my motions. Even so, I try to get her involved during the holidays, for example, by letting her lick the envelopes and play with Christmas stamps while I’m sending out our family cards.

Creative Toys and Games

Beyond picture books and other educational materials, consider filling your child’s toybox with artistic toys that encourage them to get creative and use their imagination. While you may not be raising the next Picasso, letting your child get their hands dirty with finger-paint is always a good starting point for creative playtime.  If you’re worried about constant supervision and messes, I’ve had a surprisingly good experience with Play Doh myself.
screen time and kids


Rethink Screen Time

There’s a lot of controversy regarding how much screen time is right for young children. I tried going totally screen-free without much success. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to find a balance between screen-time and books or creative playtime.

For example, I always read to my daughter before bed and limit any sort of TV time accordingly. Additionally, I try to find educational programming that’s calming or includes classical music versus lots of flashing colors or quick-cut editing. Sometimes just putting such programming on in the background is enough to entertain my daughter or bring her down from a tantrum.

While you don’t necessarily need to throw out your TV, try to opt for a book instead of an iPad whenever possible. There might be times where a cartoon here and there is the only thing that will calm them down, but don’t totally rely on screens as a crutch. Sometimes it pays to be firm with your child in regard to technology.

Remember: you can’t force your child to be more creative, but you can set up the right environment for them. Keep these tips in the back of your mind and you’ll be well on your way to doing exactly that.


  • Terri S.

    When my now 2 grown children were young they rarely watched TV. We did a lot of arts & crafts, visited the park, library, museums and zoo. We loved to make up our own stories. Today, my 2 granddaughters are doing the same things. It is beautiful to see young children using their creative minds and not depending on electrical or battery run devices to have fun.

  • beverly harrold

    letting the grandkids loose when they are here at our house with washable markers crayons and chalk delights them to no end. and since they are creating it makes us happy too. the house and sidewalk and driveway wash they are only kids once.every moments precious.

  • michele

    I also think that part of nurturing your child’s creative side is to take them on trips to museums and art galleries… The more they see of others imagination will spark their own…

  • Nancy C

    Ugh, I’m really struggling with this issue this summer. It seems like all my kids want to do is watch “Paw Patrol”. I’ve been trying to get them out of the house for a few hours every day- what seemed to work is when I told my daughter that sunshine gives you vitamin D. Now she goes outside saying, “I’m going to get my vitamins, mommy!” Thanks for the ideas, Connie!

    • Connie Gruning

      Nancy, Summer is wearing me down! Since Alice and family live in a condo with no yard or play area I’m very guilty of letting the screen time go too long. That and playing Barbies. OHMYGOSH this kid and her Barbies!! Every time there is a for sale or for rent close to where they live I pray for a 6 or 7 year old girl PLEASE!? NaNa is tired of playing Barbies!!!!!!!!

  • Rosie

    These are good suggestions, and I would add let there be unscheduled time, and if need be, just provide some incentive with art supplies, etc. Being overly scheduled and regimented does not engender creativity.

  • CJ

    I am not that talented with arts and crafts but I used to like to write plays and act it out with my dolls. My grandmother really encouraged me with that and in being creative that way. 🙂

  • Tamra Phelps

    I’m not one of those people who insists kids (nieces & nephews) have very strict limits on screen time. I think it’s the quality of what’s on the TV or tablet. If it’s educational or helps them in some way, fine by me. BUT I do insist on a good balance with outdoor play time.

  • Rosie

    It seems natural that being a role model is one of the best ways to foster creativity. Being on the lookout for stimulating activities that engender ongoing curiosity and learning are good!

  • michele

    I always go back to my childhood and to all the ways my mom fostered my imagination and creative side.. Tried to do the same with my children but my grandchildren have so many gadgets that it is harder to make them put them away and use their own talents…I believe that their parents are trying though….Great post….

  • CJ

    Great tips! My parents always believed in supporting a child and their creativity and I think I am a happier person because of it.

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