By Mei Yee
Children are very creative on their own, but sometimes they need an extra boost! Here are some ways I encourage creativity;
Use “magic.” I am not talking about getting magic kits; that would be a good idea too. But when my girls play with each other, usually one of their toys gets “injured” while playing. My youngest will bring the toy to me, no matter what I am doing, and she will tell me what happened.
As she holds the patient out to me, I put my hand over them, count to three and say, “all better.” The first time we did this, she asked how I did that, and I just said “magic.” So now that has been something we keep doing. It is like some war game they play, and I am the mage who can heal. They love it.
I also use the “magic” when a toy breaks. If I can fix it, I tell them the patient needs more magic. I "heal" the toy and bring it back to the state it was in before. I cannot say like new as my girls are rough with toys.
Create random games. My oldest likes to read license plates as sometimes she gets a laugh from the custom ones. I had started to use the letters as an acronym, and we would come up with a meaning for it and use the numbers as some counter.
Example: I thought of a random license plate and asked my 11-year-old about it for this example; CBC 4980.
11 yo: Crunchy ButterCream
Me: 4980 pounds of it?!
11 yo: No, that is how many cupcakes it goes on.
Me: That is a lot of cupcakes!
11 yo: It is for a party big party. They are mini cupcakes too.
Me: Can I ask what the crunchy part is? Not sure that sounds too good.
11 yo: no, it is good. It is crunchy because of the cookies.
Me: I like cookies.
11 yo: I know. The party is to celebrate the love of cookies and cupcakes!
By the end, she had a whole party imagined with a list of everyone she would invite and where she would want to hold it.
These are little things, but it helps keep their imagination going.