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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers


Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers

Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers

The worry that I am not encouraging creativity within my boys to its full potential is a constant one. Are they playing with the wrong toys? Do they spend too much time watching mindless television? Do they get outside enough and use their imagination to invent their own fun? It's one thought missile after another of doubts and fears.

But, that is silly mind talk. I shouldn't listen to that anxious parenting voice inside my head. You know, the one that says you aren't doing an adequate job or that your kids are going to be irreversibly screwed up and in therapy for not getting the chocolate cake for dessert. Or in therapy because they did get the chocolate cake. Anyway, the point is that that voice is ridiculous and sometimes it is best to get our of your own head, and just do what feels right.

I think a lot about that concept in regard to my overall parenting style, and that includes encouraging Luke and Wesley's creativity. We obviously live in a world where tablets and smartphones and gadgets are the new norm for learning, and I want to teach them how to responsibly use technology to further their knowledge and education. But, I also want them to learn how to entertain themselves in the good, old-fashioned way using simple toys and objects around them, or the sheer power of imagination. We have been working on all those forms lately, and I just wanted to share what we are doing.

Luke thinks farms and animals are ALL the rage lately. It's barn this, and cow that, and cluck-cluck here and a moo-moo there. He has a set of basic farm animals, a fence, a truck and a small barn. It has been absolutely fascinating and fun to watch him and Wes play. They teach each other animal sounds and the hay bales go on grand adventures. Yesterday the spotted cow provided play dough milk for all the other farm animals and the farm truck tried its hand at racing the tractor. It is all silly and simple, but they are learning about animals and work and putting their imaginations to good use.

Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers
Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers
As far as apps go, we always mainly to educational ones (with the exception of Star Wars Angry Birds). We are enormous Disney fans, and are doing our Disneyland annual passholder duties by getting Disney apps. We just downloaded Mickey's Magical Arts World from Disney Imagicademy and Luke is obsessed. It's an interactive, curriculum-driven type of experience which incorporates the characters he knows and loves so dearly. Luke is learning more about shapes, colors, textures and music through it. His favorite is painting this little cat in orange cheese and sprinkles and making car tracks over it. He gets this deep belly laugh every time it comes to life. They have an Imagicademy Parents app too, which allows you to monitor your kid's progress on their projects activities. I love taking a look at what Luke makes. Mickey's Magical Arts World is designed for kids ages 3-8 and is exclusively available for the iPad, which you can download here. I highly recommend it!

Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers
Luke just started getting into imaginary play. Just last night he and Matt were pretending our bed was an island and that the ground was covered in lava and sharks. They had to sprint and dodge to grab "food" without getting eaten. I felt like I was overhearing an Indiana Jones adventure between all of the drama and action of the forbidden fires and depths of the oceans. Then suddenly Luke decided they were puddles. His cute, little voice said, "Hmmm... Dare are puddows! We gotta jump in them!" And then the thumps and booms of his jumping onto the floors echoed through the hall.

Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers
I love witnessing all of these playful moments and feel immensely blessed that I am able to be present. Inventing imaginary planets and landscapes, coming up with goofy stories, learning about horse poop according to a three-year-old, and seeing Luke's creations (both on paper and on the iPad) are the moments I live for. All of these little things are what excite me as soon as a I open my eyes in the morning, and what I reminisce about at night before I drift off to sleep.

Encouraging Creativity In Toddlers

Creativity is power and gives life, and I hope I am encouraging it in my boys as much as possible—they deserve all the best this world has to give.

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At February 20, 2015 at 11:44 AM , Blogger Anne Hill said...

love this! that nagging parent worry about if I'm doing the right things to help my little guy learn is ALWAYS getting at me! Glad to see what other parents are doing :) Plus, this makes me so excited for Eli to have a sibling to play with!

At February 22, 2015 at 3:56 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

It is soooo hard to limit screen time. Lately I have introduced water color paints (washable of course. I learned the hard way!), which my almost 3 yr old daughter absolutely loves. Good ol' fashioned play-doh is another fun one to inspire creativity; some days we make worms, some days we make robots, some days we pretend to make chocolate chip cookies or animals. And now play doh comes in all these amazing cool colors that I didn't have as a kid. ;)

-Chanelle from the Kim Chronicles

At February 24, 2015 at 5:17 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks, Anne! You are going to love having both of them around playing together. I am excited for you too.


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