Even if you have only five minutes, you can still find creative, yet simple ways to spend them with your child. These 10 games are definitely do not require any special equipment or a lot of time. Some of them can be done in a car or during a nice family walk. I usually play them with my kid while walking to the preschool. Despite of their simplicity, all of these activities will benefit your child in many aspects. They will teach her creative thinking, abstract thinking and develop the habit of thinking “outside the box.” And these activities are a lot of fun. Both of you will really enjoy playing together.
1. Never Just a Stick
Point to different objects while you are walking with your child in the park or on the street. Ask him what different ways are that he can use those objects. For-instance, ask “What can you do with a sick?” This is when a child starts to use his imagination. He could say something simple like, you can dig with it or use it as a sword. If you do this exercise often, very soon you may find that he starts to think of more unusual ways to use a stick or any other random object. For example, a child may start to come up with ideas like you can hold a stick out to a rabbit to save him from the river. This exercise is perfect for mastering the ability of thinking differently.
2. Super Meal
Ask your child to choose ingredients for a pretend meal. It can be anything in the house. Start with an example, like a bucket and with some green socks in it. The green socks would represent spinach leaves for instance. Then let your child be creative, and never criticize her choice in choosing objects for the “meal.” After a kid is done “cooking,” invite some stuffed toys to join you for dinner. Using familiar objects in an unconventional way helps develop creative thinking. It teaches your child to look at the task from a different angle.
3. Funny Questions
Now it is your turn to ask your child the questions. Ask things that get him thinking, like “What do you think the dog is looking at in the grass?” , “Where do you think that man going?” or “Who do you think lives in that green bush?” You will be surprised to learn what fantastic creative answers your child will come up with. This activity is excellent for creative thinking, as well as speech development.
4. We are Rock Stars!
This game is practiced by many parents, while never going out of date. Use plastic balls, metallic pots and spoons for a rock band. You and your child can play, sing and even dance! If you want to make your kid really happy, do not forget about head shaking and high jumping! That is exactly what great rock stars do! This game helps your child to see unusual uses of common and ordinary subjects. That is a great example of thinking “outside the box.”
5. And They Lived Happily Ever After….
Change the end of your favorite fairy tales—and ask your child to help you. Encourage her to change the story using characters she remembers from other stories or cartoons. This activity is great for both of you—your child will improve creative thinking skills and you will explore the rich fantasy life of your little one.
6. A Cloud or a Rabbit?
This game is so easy and yet is available to everyone. You just need to look up on a day with clouds. Then discuss with your child what the clouds look like. Is it a rabbit, a dragon, a candy? What are they doing on the sky? This simple and yet very powerful activity will help your child develop abstract thinking.
7. Dramatic Play
This game is loved by many preschools and day care centers. Ask your child to pretend to be just about anything—a tiger walking in a jungle, an alien, a queen, a pot with boiling water, or even a pan. Ask her to show what it would be like to be one of these things by using different movements. Of course, you are welcome to participate! In the process, your child will build creative thinking and abstract thinking skills, and develop emotional and language skills.
8. Dress Up
Who doesn’t have some old hats, funny looking clothes, fun glasses and bags, and odd jewelry sitting around the house? Most kids love to dress up because it gives them an opportunity to walk in other’s people shoes, imagining themselves parents, teachers, doctors, etc. This activity literally put your child in another person’s shoes, help him to find out what other people might think or feel. It promotes creative thinking and helps your kid to better understand other people.
Make a contest with your kid about who will draw the silliest cat or who will create the most silly dance. You can even invite your spouse or grandparents to participate. Besides exercising your child’s creative thinking, it will teach her that trying to reach perfection might not always be the goal. Sometimes just enjoying the process is already an achievement.
10. Music Time
Play a piece of music and ask your child what he thinks of it? Is it sad, joyful or dramatic? What story does the music tell him? If he could, which color would he use to paint this music? Then you can switch to another, very different, piece of music, and ask the questions again. Dive in to the world of your child’s imagination!
I believe that the more creativity in your life, and especially in the life of your little one, the better! Creative people have a great skill to keep them interested and engaged in life. They can use it to persevere when they face difficulties and solve problems in unusual ways. Creative thinking skills can be developed and mastered. Some of the preschools, day care centers, schools can help your kids to exercise them, but never forget that the best teaching method – is your own example!