Making room for creativity

Making room for creativity
Drawing is a great way for your budding Picasso to develop her creativity and express all the wonders of her imagination.

Drawing is a great way for your budding Picasso to develop her creativity and express all the wonders of her imagination.

When children draw, they invent stories in their heads. They think about how to draw a cat or a boat. They imagine houses that fly in the sky or magical creatures. They show what the monsters hidden under their beds look like. “Drawing sets a child’s imagination in motion,” says Denise Berthiaume, author and former childhood education techniques teacher.

But what if your toddler needs help drawing something—a flower, for example? “Instead of drawing it for her or showing her how, suggest she look at the flowers outside or in a book instead,” recommends Dominique Carreau, early childhood visual arts specialist. She can then draw the flower her way.

When children draw, they call on their creativity : they choose what it is they want to draw and come up with solutions and ideas to do it.

A good way to enhance your child’s creativity is to provide her with a variety of materials : tissue paper, cardboard, coloured paper, felt tip markers, wax crayons, pencil crayons, poster paint, finger paint, and so on. 2-year-old Étienne loves drawing on large pieces of paper placed on an easel, and with chalk on a chalkboard. “He fills the whole board with his designs, then erases it all and starts again,” says mom, Élisabeth. “He can do that for 20 minutes straight.”

What about tablets?

With regard to drawing applications on e-tablets, Dominique Carreau believes they can promote creativity as long as they allow children to draw and not just colour. However, if your child draws on a tablet with her fingers, it doesn’t contribute to developing her fine motor skills. For this, she should use a tablet pen. So tablets should remain one drawing tool among many. Your toddler also needs to be stimulated by handling and using traditional materials such as paper and crayons.

Feeding creativity
Even if elephants don’t have five legs and grass isn’t blue, it’s important to let your child draw however she wishes. “If you tell her that it’s not how one draws something, you risk curbing her creativeness,” observes Denise Berthiaume, author and former childhood education techniques teacher.
Here are a few examples of things you could say to your child to encourage her creativity:
“It was a good idea to use those colours on your truck.”
“What a wonderful idea to put a house on a cloud! You have lots of imagination. That’s awesome!”
“If there were people living in your castle, who would they be?”
“What will your character do tomorrow?”
“I’d like to climb your tree to see what’s around it.”
“Your drawing is very cheerful.”
Naitre et grandir.com

Source : Naître et grandir magazine, September 2016
Research and copywriting : Nathalie Vallerand
Scientific review : Josiane Caron Santha, Occupational Therapist

Photo : Maxim Morin