Austin TX — With COVID-19 cases in Texas hitting another spike, any hope of having a “normal” summer seems to have evaporated. Now that virtual schools are out for the summer, your children are probably looking to you for ways to fill their seemingly endless free time. Fortunately, there’s one fundamental life skill that flourishes during unstructured free time: creativity.
Everyone is born with creative potential, but harnessing it takes some practice and exploration. Creativity has a number of important benefits for children and adults alike, including stress relief, better problem-solving skills, increases confidence in our abilities, and stronger feelings of freedom, individuality, and self-awareness.
Be a Role-model for Creativity.
For children of all ages, learning through imitation is an important part of cognitive development. By making time in the day for your own creative hobbies, or taking up new ones, your children can learn from watching you.
Emphasize the process over the product.
Incentivizing creative activities can interfere with the process of learning to enjoy creativity. To help your children find an activity that they’re intrinsically motivated to do, allow them to try a variety. Follow up their activities with questions about what they enjoyed about the process, whether they had fun, and what they think they’d like to try differently next time.
If you’re working from home, you’ll be happy to hear that encouraging your children’s creativity doesn’t require much supervision. In fact, it’s better to take a hands-off approach. Simple games and activities are with minimal instructions and plenty of freedom are best for helping your child flex their creative muscles.
Provide the right supplies.
Whatever activities your children are interested in — whether drawing, creative writing, making music, cooking, or any other number of activities — providing basic supplies to get them started is essential. Most likely, you probably have everything you need already in the house somewhere, left over from previous school years.
Providing Access to Stationary Supplies for All Children
Unfortunately, many of children in the Austin area don’t have access to the supplies they need to make it through the school year, much less harness their innate creativity. If you have extra school supplies lying around, consider donating to a reputable non-profit organization who will distribute the supplies to vulnerable children on your behalf. If you don’t, a donation of just $5 can make a difference in the life of an Austin child.
uSupplies is a 501(c)3 located in Austin, Texas with a mission to collect and distribute unused and lightly used school supplies to teachers and students in need. As a member of Mayor Adler’s corporate engagement council, uSupplies is making a real difference in the Austin community. To date, uSupplies has collected 1734 pounds of school supplies. Visit usupplies.org for more information.