Understanding creative playHow do you understand creative play? Toddlers with their colorful dough and cookie cutters? Markers and paper so your elementary school-aged child can make a comic book? While your teen may still enjoy these activities now and then, particularly if a younger sibling asks him to join in, he must have his own creative outlets. Creative play is largely considered to be one of the most crucial creative activity types for young children. Creative play will see children using regular and familiar items in exciting and new ways. Children may engage in imaginative play or take part in role-playing. Creativity is an important part of healthy brain development across all ages.
How teens can benefit from a creative outletJust what are the benefits of a creative outlet? For teens, the benefits can be varied:
- Healthy brain development. Just as creative play helped your teen when he was little, a creative outlet now will help to keep his imagination fired up. It can fuel his passion and his focus. Even as a teen, further motor skill development can be beneficial.
- While most teens may already have excellent social skills, some types of creative time may offer additional opportunities to enhance their social development.
- Creative outlets offer each of us the ability to express and process our feelings. For teens, it’s no different. Their creativity may also help to relieve a measure of stress.
- Creative time can also help teens develop their creative expression style further as they explore the avenues open to them.
- A benefit you may not expect is that having a creative outlet can help teens work through the struggles they don’t know how to verbalize just yet. Their artistic expressions and other creative pursuits can help them to learn valuable communication skills that will come in handy as they rise to meet new challenges.
Tapping into your teen’s creativityHow can you help your teen tap into the creative well that you know he has? First and foremost, you should be mindful of the fact that your teen may not react well if he is forced into doing something creative. Creativity should always be something that comes naturally to each of us. A person who has a flair for painting watercolors may not have succeeded in high school, where they were forced into painting. How can you help your teen figure out what kind of creative activity will fuel his passion?
- Have a conversation. It’s as easy as that. Perhaps your teen loves to make music? Can he pursue this as a hobby? Is there equipment you can find at local yard sales so he can create and spend time creating? Asking your teen what he’s interested in just the first time and often the step we forget about.
- Relate to your teen by telling him more about the hobbies you pursue. Do you love to create scrapbooks or journals? Is sewing or knitting your passion? Whatever it may be, your teen can benefit from hearing more about how you get inspiration and how you let your creativity flow.
- Do a bit of your research into the things he’s interested in. Perhaps it’s photography or digital art? Could it be that your teen has an eye for creating virtual games and other digital content? The more you know about his creative interests, the better position you’ll be in to help him get the right tools, get the right experience and training, and enjoy that creative time.