Cops and robbers.
Dressing up as a princess.
Jumping from bed to bed to avoid falling into the pit of hot lava.
All of those were made up games I played as a child. Those were just a few of them too. As a child, I pretended all sorts of things. If there wasn’t a game to play, my friends and I would make one up. I spent hours pounding out stories on my parents’ old (really old) manual typewriter. I made up tales galore.
You probably remember playing with Barbies or GI Joe and concocting scenarios: Barbie on a date with Ken or GI Joe on some covert fictitious mission.
As you’re thinking back to those times when you “played pretend”, you may be smiling. They were good, innocent, happy times.
Why is encouraging creativity in children important? I’m not a doctor or psychologist, but I was a child and I’m now a parent so I can share my thoughts about why I think it’s important.
Children need to explore. By trying different types of arts, they begin to develop potential skills and interests. One child may like drawing or painting and another may grow to love acting or playing piano. By trying their hand at creative ventures children can learn where their talents lie.
Imagination can be therapeutic. Creating situations with dolls or friends is a fun creative outlet and can help children work out certain emotions and likewise, help them develop some social skills.
Developmental skills can be honed. Remember Play-Doh? Who didn’t love that or Silly Putty? Remember those water color books? Those are all using some sort manual dexterity and helping develop that. Rolling out the dough, forming it into shapes, copying the Sunday funny papers, painting. They’re all fun and they’re all potentially helpful.
Creativity is soothing. I loved coloring books. I remember the excitement of getting a new box of crayons, especially if it was the coveted giant 64-pack. Those were a Christmas present usually. Opening that fresh box of crayons with all those colors…and the smell. It was kind of like the new car smell to adults. Nothing quite like it. I’d sit for hours and color, choosing each hue carefully, designing the shades for each scene on the pages. It was soothing. It required concentration, quiet, and decision making, but nothing too stressful. There’s something to it, isn’t there? Look at the new trend of adult coloring books. I have one but the truth is, I’d be just as happy with a children’s coloring book again. They’re still fun!
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
There’s no limit. Creativity really is limitless. Whether it’s writing stories, telling them, making up plays to perform in the living room for company, making up little tunes in your head or painting a picture, it’s all important and without bounds. Children can make up any tall tale, any song, any new game and it’s ever-evolving. They can create any world they want and be any character they want. It’s sometimes a necessary escape.
Encourage your children to use their minds. Creativity keeps them active and sharp. Creativity begets creativity. Maybe you can even join in and help them write that story or bring life to a new game. There are endless adventures!
I recently shared my testimony on my blog: http://melaniespickett.com/story-day-became-victim/ Come read my story of victim turned survivor.
Meet Melanie P. :
Melanie Pickett is a mom, wife, writer, blogger, and Jesus girl. Melanie spends most of her time at her own blog, melaniespickett.com where she writes about her domestic abuse survival, healthy relationships, life, and faith. She is busy with her work in progress, her first nonfiction book. Melanie contributes to Sonoma Christian Home and has been featured on BlogHer.com and published on Splickety Magazine, Whole Magazine, Breathe Writers Conference blog, and various other blogs as a guest writer. She is a volunteer at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies. Having worked in the medical field for nearly two decades, Melanie recently “retired” so she could concentrate on her family and writing career. She is also a substitute teacher. Besides writing, Melanie loves to read, playing piano, listening to music, helping and encouraging others, volunteering, movies, dreaming of tropical getaways, and hanging out and cheering on her very favorite people: her family. Melanie lives in west Michigan with her husband, two teen children, and her pug Gracie. They recently said “until we meet again” to their beloved beabrador Lillie. Her favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11 and one of her favorite quotes is: “They call us the dreamers, but we’re the ones who never sleep.”