How to encourage Creativity as a Parent?


I guess parents play a huge role in modeling lives of their children and children grow up seeing a parent closely and many a times follow them as if they are their role model.

Therefore my question is, how do you think as a parent we can encourage creativity in our children or allow them to be flexible to experiment on their own ?
Or to state it in another way, what as a parent are some of the things you would wish to learn to help assist and improve your child’s creativity and learning experiences?

Example: - I remember being influenced by my father a lot. He had a day job. But as an amateur artist he was often requested to create paintings for his friends and co-workers. He used to sit for hours creating portraits of people on a large canvas - most of it was oil painting. I patiently watched it to see the mix of colors and accuracy and sometimes wondered if it was real! :slight_smile:
He did not spend enough time guiding me on every detail but simply observing him I learnt a lot!

[Round 3] Introduce yourself!

I think you have touched on a huge part of parent influence: exposure and example. My parents made so many things in so many materials. We are all tool and equipment hounds.
My childhood was rich with clay, dirt, wood, fabric, fibres of Angora rabbit, dog and sheep, spun then knitted, or unspun and felted. I did not watch my dad closely with his carving, but I have adopted how he has learned: researching through people or books, trying to do it himself and improving through iteration.
It is funny, my mom has a wonderful aesthetic sensibility and has always struggled with identifying as an artist because her work ‘wasn’t good enough.’ She took an on-line course with my brother on animal anatomy and even though she has early stages of Alzheimers, and couldn’t recall doing the lessons, she was improving through practice applying the instructions.
She got so fed up with our tv addiction, she put it out in the garage (that had only wood heating) and confessed to feeling so guilty when she saw me in my parka jumping up and down and rubbing my arms to stay warm (I didn’t learn to light the fire). I am so grateful for that limitation. If I’m alone, I never turn on the tv. My husband always has the tv on and I escape the noise by going to my studio.
I sometimes still have a cringe when I say I am an artist, but I’m working on losing that. I did not say I was a good artist, or a mature artist. I often say I am a baby artist, just in first stages because it has been only the last couple of years I have had a studio and dedicate time weekly if not daily to developing my works.
I also think it’s really important to allow for open exploration, for process rather than product. I started a topic for Kindergarten STEAM and posted a link for teachers’ process and I love the way they approach feedback. It is so respectful of individual growth and so aware of how sharing our preferences as adults can smother student’s views or creativity.
This is an area I really struggle with: stopping myself from being helpful and solving things for kids, or stopping my spontaneous reaction of ‘ohh that’s lovely.’ I really like to respond, "What do you think? with the instruction to step back and look at it from distance’ when kids ask me if their work is good. This whole feedback loop is really important. How do we discuss what we see and how the elements (scale, value, colour, line, shape, texture, composition) play on our perception of the piece?
Constraints and boredom also come to mind.


@ Mohona
There is really so much to say. It would be nice to revisit this throughout the course.

Creativity can be encouraged through thought-leadership and language. With visible pathways to expressive tools. I design with language, virtues, and tools of a better future.

; play open conversations

; expressive emotional vocabularies


; clean language questioning and metaphor

Image result for clean language and metaphor

;being motivational and friend

; frame art-as-research


Thanks for sharing them… Shelly! I agree with you :slight_smile:


Wow I <3 the way you said thought-leadership & Emotions … these lead to more areas for discussion and development… Let’s see how we reflect on all these throughout the course and beyond…


I am overwhelmed to see the way you have shared so many references supporting your thoughts and I hope these resources will be helpful to others in the community as well. So, I have opened a new slack channel in case you feel like storing them from now on. And it’s called #resources4parents


Hi everyone!
I think the example of parents or those close you in your childhood is essential for the development of imagination.

I want to share this video with you:




Thanks for the everyday objects art video share. Delightful!




check out

‘B E T T E R
The Starter Guide

Poetry is what you find
in the dirt in the corner,
overhear on the bus, God
in the details, the only way
to get from here to there.
Poetry (and now my voice is rising)
is not all love, love, love,
and I’m sorry the dog died.
Poetry (here I hear myself loudest)
is the human voice,
and are we not of interest to each other?


Hi every one thanks for this helpfull resources.


Incentivar os filhos e procurar compreendê-los é a melhor forma de se conseguir estabelecer uma aprendizagem criativa. Estabelecer horários de uso de equipamentos tecnológicos e realizar as tarefas com eles, é uma atitude muito importante.


I am a teacher and now a parent. I taught art for a while and as my understanding of agency and play have developed, I wanted to shift away from imposing my thinking on my students and own children. I discovered “Invitations to Create” and have found that this open-ended approach to learning is more successful and enjoyable for both me as parent and my kiddos. After my second child was born I collated these as a resource for when my baby grew up. Almost time to bring these ideas back out for him now! The free download is below (not sure why it says ‘buy’ - it is free!)


Thanks for sharing your experience and views @terSonya! I downloaded and went through your book. It’s lovely! Specially I could resonate with the idea of veggie block prints… I did it a couple years ago with some kids who attended my workshop in a museum in US. It’s fun to see a child closely working on these projects and exploring more… and messing around with the colors :slight_smile: If you do it on a T-Shirt or a bag may be they can store it in the form of a childhood memory :smile: Anyway, keep going and sharing more… hope we’ll have more conversations around it in future!


Wow! So true… Thanks to Google translate for helping me understand what you wrote…


Feedback, instruction, and guidance with art are such delicate things. I get my back up when people tell me what I should do with my painting. I am much more receptive to ‘what would happen if…’ suggestions and questions that help me to further my observations and insights.
That said, I really appreciate insights when I am stuck and at the limits of my personal knowledge and additionally I want to develop my ability to converse with fellow artists in a way that helps us grow, which is not always comfortable or easy.
I downloaded your book. It is lovely! Thank you. I have been in a mild panic about what I am going to do next with my ASD art classes and here is a goldmine of ideas.
Would you like any additional ideas or feedback?
May I ask how you created your book? It is clear in layout with short texts and engaging photos. It looks like a great format for self-publishing.


I read a post the other day about kindness and feedback. I will find it and link it here. What I liked was that the teacher was aware that the feedback wasn’t useful until the child needed it. Such a delicate balancing act! You outline both sides of the spectrum with regard to feedback and creativity.

Thank you for your comments on the book. It was made using the Book Creator app on iPad. I loved making it. And I loved letting go and just seeing where the invitation would take my daughter. Actually, I was breastfeeding at the time and the art project time was at the same time as Harrison’s feeding so I had no choice but to be hands off! It really is fascinating when you can let go and see where they take things!


Hi, following parents I think home plays a very critical role in children’s creativity too. There are some parents who fill the house with objects that children are not allowed to touch, on the other hand there are parents who make a learning environment out of their home. In my opinion its very important to give children freedom of experiencing and wondering around at home. I remember my parents putting posters of human body or geography maps all over the walls of the house when we were in primary school.