Picasso Toddlers: 5 Tips to Inspire Creative Play

5 min read

Last Modified 28 June 2023 First Added 2 June 2023

Oh, the world of toddlerhood!

Where excitement and unpredictability are around every corner. Many parents look for ways to assist their little one’s growth and development, especially by nurturing their creativity and imagination.

But let’s be honest, their creativity is never in short supply. From imaginative play to abstract art projects, toddlers are known to be natural artists, they just want to create, design and play!

And our job is to encourage that creativity.

Why is Creativity Essential?

It’s not just about having cute fridge-worthy artwork, creativity benefits your child on a much deeper level.

Firstly, problem-solving skills can be activated through creative play. For example, when your child is given a LEGO set or a puzzle, they will naturally have to think to put the pieces together or to create something new. This kind of creativity allows your child to think of different ways to approach situations and come up with solutions.

Secondly, creative play helps your child in regulating their emotions. Toddlers can express a vast range of emotions whilst playing; they could be feeling frustrated one minute and excited the next. Creative play gives your child the chance to express emotion healthily, whether that is through arts & crafts or activities.

Finally, your child’s cognitive development is always evolving through creative play.

Exploring creative and imaginative play improves your child’s language development, spatial awareness and critical thinking!

baby playing with messy paint.

5 Quick Tips for Encouraging Creativity

Ready to unleash your child’s creative genius?

1. Having A Creative Space

Try and set up a space for your child that is theirs. It could be a small table in the living room or in their bedroom where they can find a bunch of arts & crafts, stationery, colouring crayons, and anything to spark that imaginative play.

Have them explore different textures, learn how to hold pencils, or learn how to paint, glue, or cut materials. All this creative play allows your child to improve on their motor skills whilst having fun!

Why not give your child a cardboard box to decorate and do as they please with?

2. Embracing Messy Play

Let’s admit, creativity is usually messy. But don’t let that restrict your little one.

Allow them the freedom to create and explore without worrying about cleaning up. Cleaning can always be done later, but the time for creativity is now!

Embrace the mess by setting up an area that allows it, you can place a plastic cover on the floor and bring out all the water paints, or sensory materials like rice or sand.

Not only will your mini-me be having a blast exploring their messy play, but you’ll also be helping them improve their motor skills and sensory development.

3. Encouraging Imagination

Our toddlers can sometimes surprise us with their out-of-this-world imagination. Inspire their play by encouraging them to create stories, play with dolls to act out scenes (or stuffed animals) or you can simply make up silly songs together followed by silly dances!

Alternatively, toddlers love to dress up. Why not have a family day where you all roleplay your favourite superheroes? (After all, creativity can be contagious.) This will help your mini-me explore their creativity and imagination in an environment which enables it.

little girl playing with wooden animals

4. Following their Lead

If they feel like painting a dinosaur or want to make a collage of space, then let them! When your toddler takes the lead, you enable them to feel in control and have a sense of independence.

This is a great way to encourage creativity in your toddlers as they will be able to discover the world in their own unique way.

For example, if your child is playing with their dolls and they use unique narratives, this can help them develop traits such as empathy – the ability to see the world from someone else’s perspective.

5. Getting Involved

Lastly, have the courage – yourself – to get involved with your child’s imaginative play.

Sit down and paint with them or help with their space project. This will not only strengthen your bond but also shows them that you value their little creations and projects, this will naturally encourage their creativity.

And can you imagine how hilarious it will be when you come up with silly dance moves with your little toddler? Make it a family affair by performing for everyone!  You will be bringing some great belly laughs to everyone’s evening.

Dad paints with daughter.

Remember creativity is fun, messy, unpredictable and full of hidden surprises, but that’s what makes it wonderful! Foster your toddler’s creativity not only to aid their development but to also tap into your creative spirit alongside your little one. Help them explore the world around them through their eyes and have fun while doing so!

So, grab the art supplies, costumes and stuffed animals or dolls; and let the fun begin!

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