Toys and creativity

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The next couple posts will focus on toys and creativity.  For most kids, expressing their creativity is not usually a problem.  In fact, the problem is often that parents have to find ways to keep their children from expressing their creativity all over an expensive painting or a restaurant wall.

The best way to funnel this natural creative drive is to provide toys that allow them to let loose and learn new skills at the same time.  Creativity, ironically enough, is at its best when bounded by strong rules.

To start with, consider art toys for channeling that creative streak (without streaking the walls in the process).

Let’s start with art toys, since most people associate creativity with drawing and painting.  Drawing is a natural inclination for children and one of their favorite activities.  So make it easy for them by providing your little artists with toys like magnetic drawing boards and Etch-a-Sketches.  These are no mess solutions that are certain to be a hit.  They are also perfect for traveling.

In the middle of the mess-spectrum are washable markers and crayons.  These are good for household activities but require more adult supervision.  Lastly, there are the ever-popular but incredibly messy finger painting kits.  The joy that children get out of finger painting is definitely worth the havoc.  The trick is to prepare by laying down newpapers (several layers) over the tables or floor.  Smocks don’t hurt either, especially if you don’t have a lot of throw-away clothes.

Keeping it under control is the goal with all art toys, but that doesn’t mean that your kids can’t color outside the lines.  Next time let’s consider other kinds of toys that help kids express their creativity.  After all, art is not the only way to be creative.

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