Toys that promote creativity
Are there particular toys that promote creativity? Our writer has a strong opinion that ANY toy has the ability to encourage creativity in young children. Apart from your typical LEGO and Play-doh “creative stimulation” toys, almost anything and everything can be just as stimulating if not more!
When I was first told to write an article on this topic, I was slightly taken aback. Truth be told, I have a belief that ANY toy has the ability to encourage creativity in young children. Apart from your typical LEGO and Play-doh “creative stimulation” toys, almost anything and everything can be just as stimulating if not more!
What creativity truly means?
The definition of creativity, according to the dictionary, is “the use of imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work”. In the case of purchasing toys such as LEGO for our little ones, we are simply providing them with an option to build something out of little plastic bricks by putting one and one together.
Let me illustrate my point: When we purchase a set of LEGO for our kids, we would show them how to play with it by stacking the plastic bricks together. As kids go, they would naturally try to emulate this behaviour by similarly stacking the bricks together. You may argue, “But if I don’t show him how to play with it, they won’t know what to do with it! And I don’t teach him what to make, so that part is still his own creativity.” Which I have to agree is true to a certain extent.
Now imagine a child who can build something out from daily household items, with no one guiding him on what to do with the bits and pieces. Which child would be more imaginative?
Going back to the good old days
Remember the good old days when we played with ice-cream sticks, toothpicks, rubber bands, boxes, pieces of scrap paper and used metal cans? We made helicopters, airplanes, “robot” dogs and a million other things that were only limited by our own imagination. We didn’t require any expensive toys that promoted the idea of creativity. Creativity was everywhere we could see!
I remember the slew of ideas I got from everyday garbage. I saw a doghouse in an empty tissue box. I saw a castle in a huge cardboard box. I saw wheels and a car in empty drink cans. To me, every piece of “useless junk” was super fun and only waiting for me to explore!
In the height of my creativity, I created a dispenser for plastic bags using an empty cardboard carton that used to hold 24 cans of soft drink. My mother was mighty proud of me, because all she needed to do was to fold the plastic bags, and dump them through the top of the box, and she could pull out one bag from the bottom when she needed it. How’s that for creativity?
Encouraging creativity from young
So the question begs to be asked: What does my creativity have to do with bringing creativity in infants?
Well, what I’m saying is to allow your baby to play with anything he or she desires as long as it is not dangerous. Other than small objects that may choke, suffocate, or injure your child in any way, let them explore everything else that is safe enough for them. Once they learn how to crawl, they will be bursting with curiosity to explore everything that their little hands can get onto!
Creativity toys for toddlers: Exploring creativity through alternative routes
My boy Joshua loves to explore our kitchen cabinets and to play with the plastic bowls and saucers. He would roll the bowls on their sides, and chase them around the house. When he got bored of doing that, he would stack up the bowls and saucers just to see if they would fit together. Very often, I would also find him chuckling heartily to himself during his games.
I disrupted one of his play sessions a couple of weeks ago when he was busy placing little plastic balls into his stacking cups. When I showed him how to stack the cups properly, he corrected me by removing all the stacked cups and putting the plastic balls into them. Apparently he had a little game of his own going on! He even pretended to drink from the cups, and wanted me to do likewise.
Being anxious parents, we often buy into idea of educational aids that would increase our children’s creativity and intelligence. But as shared above, there are many everyday ways for your child to exercise their creativity without the need for expensive toys.
Do you agree with the writer’s view? Is imagination the best creative toy? Do share your thoughts below.
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