Play is essential to every child’s creative, cognitive and social development. Here are 7 simple games to play with them to encourage creative thinking.
Let your kids discover their creative side by playing games! Play time is a wonderful way to get immersed in a fantasy world and to come up with wondrous new concepts, ideas and imaginary scenarios. Some of the most creative games and activities are also the simplest, which is a boon for busy parents who want to play a part.
Here’s a full breakdown of the seven games that inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in even the youngest participants. If you want to stimulate your little one’s creative side, check out this list and get started!
7 Games To Boost Your Child’s Creativity
1. Take a Walk in Wonderland
There’s no need to buy tickets to Disneyland to get your child’s creative juices flowing. Even a simple walk through your neighbourhood can encourage them to see the world in new ways, with your guidance, of course. Take your kids out for a walk in the sun and ask them open-ended questions as you stroll along the road. Some great examples include:
- “What do you think that dog is hunting for in that bush?”
- “What do you think our neighbour Mrs. Jones likes to do on a Saturday evening?”
- “If there were fairies and elves living in our neighbourhood, where do you think they would be hiding?”
- “If you could paint that house any colour, what colour would you pick?”
Encourage your kids to point interesting things out to you too. They will always have unique, and often unexpected, perspectives to share on a wide range of topics. Because the world is so new and exciting to them, they will never fail to impress you with their active imaginations!
2. Cook Up a Storm
Traditional cooking in the kitchen is a great way to encourage your children to let their creativity shine. You could assist them in baking a cake and ask them to decorate it, or come up with a weird and wonderful new recipe that you can try out together.
However, if your kids are too young to cook up a storm in the kitchen, you could always try making imaginary soup with them instead. Let them select ‘ingredients’ and inanimate objects (anything child friendly that will fit in a pot will do) from all over the house.
Once you’ve brewed up your soup, without water of course, ask them who they’d like to invite to share it. Would they like a friend to come over? Perhaps grandma and grandpa or the family cat could partake? Let them decide. Using everyday objects in different ways gives your child a chance to think more openly about the home and the world they live in.
3. Rewrite Classic Stories Together
Does your child have any favourite fables and fairy tales, like Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, or Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Tell them to recreate these stories with a unique and unexpected ending.
You’ll be encouraging their language development, giving them valuable story-telling skills, and offering them a chance to add their own spin to their beloved bedtime stories.
4. Get Musical
You don’t need expensive musical instruments to start up a band and bring out your kids’ inner rock stars. Grab a few pots, pans and wooden spoons out of the cupboard and set them up in the living room. Then put on some of your kids’ favourite music so that they can play along.
Let them make a noise without requiring them to follow any specific styles, structures or tunes. They’ll love watching you dance along as they make up innovative new drum beats, and the activity will also enhance their gross motor skills.
5. Have a Dress-Up Contest
Give your children access to your chest of dress-up costumes, old jumble bags, and even your closet and encourage them to dress up in wacky, colourful outfits. You can give them a theme to work with, or simply let their imaginations run wild.
The most important thing here is for you to let your guard down and show your kids that you value their imaginations and creativity. The more you participate, the more they’ll let loose and come up with awesome ideas for your next family costume party.
6. Play ‘What If?’
‘What If?’ is a simple game to play in any setting, and although it can get silly at times, it’s a great tool for putting your children’s creativity to the test. All you need to do is think of entertaining scenarios that will get their minds working hard to come up with clever answers.
Ask them questions like;
- “What if giraffes were so tall that they could reach the moon?”
- “What if you could drive anywhere you wanted to?”
- “What if you were 10 feet tall?”
- “What if the sun never went down and it was sunny all the time?”
- “What if horses meowed and cows barked?”
…and so on. The stranger your questions are, the more fun your kids will have answering them!
7. Names and Colours
This is another easy game that you can play anywhere, whether you’re in a shop, on the bus, or relaxing with your kids at home. Start by asking your children to name as many things as they can that are a certain colour, like yellow.
Next, ask them how many things they can think of that are shaped like an Oval, what items they can name that start with the letter ‘L’, and so forth. Keep the game going with different examples and keep score to make things competitive. You can even offer little prizes for the most creative answers to encourage them to get imaginative.
Making Learning & Development Fun
Games are essential for children’s development. Not only does play encourage them to think creatively, but it’s also imperative to their emotional, cognitive, social and physical development.
As adults, we don’t always see the true benefits of games, but even a few rounds of Solitaire or Patience offer us many advantages. For children, it’s the same, only their minds are not as yet developed, so playing brain stimulating games is even more important.
Encourage them to play these seven creative games to stimulate their imaginations and help them see the world around them in exciting new ways.
Who knows? They may even come up with their own games too!
About the Guest Author
Lina Becker started her career in education as a remedial teacher. In 2012 she became a freelance editor, working with various media outlets where she covers topics ranging from education to productivity. Lina is fascinated by how people can use their energy to grow into better versions of themselves every day – we all have so much untapped potential within us!