This post is the second in a series of creativity-boosting gifts you can give to the kids in your life. For more gift ideas, check out thoughts on unstructured play, unwrappable presents, innovative books, and opportunities to create together.
Gift #2 - Creative Space
Kids need physical space to be creative. Dedicating a space just for them lets them know that you value their creativity enough that you’d set aside a space specifically for it! This space should be set aside just for them and allow for both mess and works in progress. If possible, make this a space where kids can feel okay about making a mess. Consider a space that can be covered in plastic or cardboard, like a garage or basement, so that the child’s creative ideas aren’t held back by the fear of getting their space messy.
This space can take many forms and will be shaped by your child’s interests and passions. It could be a table piled with lots of building supplies, recyclables, and a low-temperature glue gun for rapid prototyping. Readers might enjoy a nook filled with books where their imaginations can run free in a story, accompanied by materials that allow them to try their hand at story-writing and illustration. The space doesn’t have to be large, elaborate, or complicated to create, but it should be theirs. Let your child know that you are giving them this space and let them tell you what they want it to be so that it will feel like it belongs to them. This will also give the chance to envision what they want in their space and how they want to use it.
Hope Adams is a Galileo Area Director in Orange County, CA. When she’s not encouraging young innovators - including her two kids - she loves expressing her own creativity through cooking, photography, and drawing.