Why having a vivid imagination is good – and how you can develop your child’s creative thinking.

Many of us can probably admit to using the well-worn excuse, “I’m just not the creative type” in order to get out of a school craft project or to avoid that community cake sale. Yet, we are all naturally creative beings, practising our creative skills on a daily basis – from navigating a route around the traffic to whipping up dinner with what’s left in the fridge or even, simply, deciding what to wear each morning.

 What is creativity and why do we need it?

“Much of creativity does not necessarily have to do with the arts. Activities in our everyday lives provide us with numerous opportunities for problem solving, lateral thinking and widening our thought patterns,” comments Liz Senior, Occupational Therapist and Founder of Clamber Club. “While creativity is a skill that should be nurtured from a very young age, it is something that we continue to develop throughout our lives,” she adds.

Creative activities provide a number of benefits by:

  • Enhancing the ability to visualise,
  • Providing problem-solving and decision-making opportunities,
  • Promoting lateral thinking,
  • Helping to refine gross and fine motor skills,
  • Assisting in the development of concentration, and
  • Providing an immense feeling of satisfaction and gratification.

Creativity is also an important aspect of your child’s emotional development. “Creativity enables your child to communicate by expressing his thoughts and feelings, whether through dancing, drawing, pretend play or by making music,” says Senior.

How can I help my child to be creative?

“All art and other creative experiences are first perceived through the senses. Provide a rich sensory environment for your child that allows them to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste,” says Senior. “Expose your child to different art forms, listen to a wide variety of music and talk about the beauty of the world around you.”

“You should also encourage your child to think up games and story ideas for themselves, and come up with their own solutions to problems,” she adds.

Before starting a creative activity with your child, Senior suggests that you ask yourself a number of questions: Will the activity develop the imagination, offer a sensory experience, allow the freedom to experiment, and provide the child with a feeling of success or satisfaction?

“Children need to be given time to play in an unstructured way. They need time to reflect, to imagine and to use their own initiative in play. This is what allows creativity and imagination to develop,” she concludes.

 Fun and games to inspire creativity:

  • Painting and drawing
    • Use finger-paints to paint on large surfaces using big arm movements
    • Scribble on paving stones with chalk
    • Make a collage out of sand, lentils, raisins, and leaves

  • Music making
    • Sing your own silly songs, making up your own words
    • Fill empty plastic water bottles to make ‘shakers’
    • Dance together to a variety of music

  • Drama and storytelling
    • Collect old photographs and encourage your child to make up the story in sequence
    • Provide a dress-up box with scraps of material for the child to imagine into costumes
    • Build a house by hanging a blanket over a table. Leave your child to invent the rest.

We thank Liz Senior dunkeld@clamberclub.com for the contents of this blog.

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For more information about Clamber Club and the programmes we offer visit https://www.clamberclub.com.

TODDLER CLASSES:  is a gross motor and sensory stimulation program for children between the ages of 1 – 3 years. Created by occupational therapists, Clamber Club toddlers focuses on movement as the foundation for learning.  Age appropriate programs are filled with activities and games designed to stimulate toddlers’ senses and promote gross motor skills as they learn through movement and music. Clamber Club toddlers encourages active learning through lesson plans that are fun and varied, fostering a lifelong love of learning and exercise.

SPORTS FOR SCHOOLS:  is a sensory and gross motor programme developed by occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and sports coaches. Weekly 30-minute classes at your school keep children engaged in a variety of activities to exercise their perceptual and gross motor skills, which prepare them for school readiness and early sports skills needed for future academic success.

PARTIES: At Clamber Club PARTIES we take the hassle and stress out of kids’ parties so you can have just as much fun at your little one’s next big bash. Clamber Club Parties offers the best action-based entertainment and obstacle courses for children ages 1-10. Watch kids have the time of their lives as they clamber and climb over our wide range of amazing equipment. Entertainment for every occasion – whether it’s a birthday party, a corporate function, or a school fun day, we offer tailor made packages to suit your budget and needs.

BABY CLASSES BABIES: What happens in your babies’ early years sets the foundation for everything that follows in their early milestone development.  Clamber Club has created a series of in-depth developmental programs to encourage early stimulation, bonding, and active play, where experience influences brain development.  Early childhood is about laying a solid foundation to serve as a base for later development.  Clamber Club’s holistic weekly program for babies promotes early stimulation through exciting informative class themes, engaging music and a wide range of unique equipment.