How to Encourage Creativity and Emotional Intelligence in Young Children


This post is sponsored by our partner Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool.


Creativity comes naturally to most children. It is easy for adults to view a child’s creativity as simple play, but the benefits go much deeper. From increased critical thinking ability to emotional benefits, creativity is something that should be encouraged among young children and reinforced as they grow.

Top early child care programs like Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool know that academics are certainly important. However, the creative side of a child’s personality is what will help them deal with real-world issues that require a higher degree of intuitiveness and emotional intelligence.

Research continues to prove how powerful the imagination is. Additionally, artistic expression is one of the best ways to help children handle stress. Children whose creativity is encouraged tend to have better social skills, higher self-confidence, and may even be more adept academically.

So how can parents, caregivers, and preschool teachers encourage creativity in young children? Continue reading to find out about the benefits of artistic expression and what you can do to help your creative child further develop their visionary interests.


The Future is Bright for Young Creatives

Parents of young kids may see creativity as the time for a child to paint a picture or try a craft project. There are also plenty of opportunities for creatives as they grow older. With the rising popularity of location-independent work and social media platforms that help people connect with the world, there will be an abundance of professional opportunities for creative individuals in the coming decades.

Many parents have their sights set on sending their children to college one day to earn a dependable degree that will set them up for a stable career. However, creativity and traditional professions are not mutually exclusive. Creative people do not necessarily need to have a career as a tattoo artist or a sculptor. They can work in the business world and still add much-needed critical and creative thinking that is lacking.

Creatives tend to think about the whys behind processes, instead of just following the status quo. In a corporate environment where many things are done based on tradition, they may come up with innovative solutions that improve the business and the work environment for employees.

Give Children Space to Be Creative

Parents and caregivers who want to inspire children’s creativity should carve out a dedicated space for their projects. Giving children their own space not only encourages them to embrace their creativity, but it can also strengthen parental bonding. When children feel supported, they often do their best work, largely because they feel free to be themselves without being labeled as different or quirky.

The set-up of children’s art spaces does not need to be extravagant. Try dedicating a portion of a dining room or den to art activities by placing a small table or desk in the corner. Stock the space with commonly-used art supplies and allow your children to display their works there.

To make the space even more personalized, allow your children to assist with planning and decorating it. Avoid being too rigid with when your child is allowed to use it. Instead, allow them access as inspiration hits them, as long as mealtimes, academics, and bedtimes don’t suffer.

Creative Pursuits Encourage Critical Thinking

As stated earlier, kids who are allowed to explore their creative sides have shown to be better at tasks that require critical thinking. This skill will ensure their success in school and beyond.

Artistically inclined people tend to view situations from a variety of perspectives, which translates into improved critical thinking and reasoning skills. If your children are extraordinarily creative, you can even encourage them to perform a critical analysis of everyday situations to allow them to practice thinking of innovative solutions to problems. 

One way to foster superior critical thinking skills in children is to explore the world around them to gain perspective. Try visiting museums, either in person or online, and empower kids to explore and share insights about what they are seeing.

If your children love to draw, encourage them to bring a sketchbook along and challenge them to sketch their best rendition of the art they see. Visiting a museum or gallery is also an ideal opportunity to teach children about art terminology as well as show them some of the various potential career paths of adult creatives.

Emphasize Your Child’s Individuality

Creative personalities serve the dual purpose of self-fulfillment through art and the ability to see unique solutions to sometimes challenging situations. The skills that are developed during childhood easily translate into adulthood and will help immensely no matter what career children choose. By always emboldening your kids to embrace their artistic sides, they will understand just how important creativity is and how valued they are by the adults in their lives.

Want to learn how Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool celebrates the creative process for preschoolers? Read their blog here