Getting engaged creatively in activities liberates imagination. This in turn pop up new ideas that has value and solution to the present problem or situation. This engagement requires Creative Thinking skill. Creative Thinking is the ability to think new and finding solutions from a fresh perspective. This ability helps to develop growth mindset - a mindset to finding solutions, identifying opportunities and developing abilities.

Creative thinking is an important skill to survive too. The Covid 19 pandemic has proved worldwide that people with creativity has been able to survive and thrive. Even the little ones, our children have become creative and shown high adaptability in these trying times. It is important that we parents should keep the creative energies flowing in children. Here are the 5 tips to encourage creative thinking in children:

1. Have a freely flowing conversation with open-ended questions. Remember to acknowledge, validate and appreciate the ideas of children constantly. Encourage them to think, answer and share ideas. Here are few examples.

Regarding studies:

Parent: You have finished reading about plants. Can you suggest some tips to improve the health of plants at our home?

Child: Really, you want me to work on this.

Parent: Yes, I need your help to enhance this green corner of our home.

Regarding extra-curricular activities:

Child: I am not able to find correct colour pens at home to doodle. Online deliveries will take some time. What to do?

Parent: Try to doodle with some home-made colours.

Child: What!! Home-made colours. Let me think. Will you help me?

Parent: Of course my creative partner.

2. Engage children in household chores in a fun way. In general, children do not take much interest in doing chores at home like tidying up toys or books, folding clothes, arranging cutlery in kitchen, watering plants, filling water bottles etc.

Add little scope of creativity to the chores in the following ways:

- Keep a chores jar with chores written in separate notes. If a child finishes the jar then, child can assign a chore to parent.

- Encourage child to think of improvisation in doing the chore. For example, while keeping the folded clothes, how can one keep them nicely sorted? There are many ways that it can be done. Like, dividing the clothes in groups and keeping in separate shelves/boxes/packets etc. Putting labels on the boxes will make it look more neat and visible. Motivate child to come up with more decluttering ideas.

3. Encourage children to plan weekends creatively .

- A weekend meal where the child & dad would treat mamma with a special homemade dinner.

- An online get together with cousins and their parents where the seniors would share the naught stuff they did during their childhood.

4. Encourage child to create interesting video presentation of her hobby work. This video memory will become precious in growing years and a sweet memory to be cherished in adulthood. Give your child freedom in showing the skills and talent learnt through this presentation. This video can be easily made through the smartphone. The child can do on their own with some assistance from parents.

- Record the drawings with background music.

- Capture the football tricks with some voiceover.

- Shoot a popular dance number and merge it with original screen act side by side.

5. Provide your child open ended toys and items like blocks, tangram, lego, magnetic tiles and story cubes. These kind of activities allows liberal use of imagination to create something new every time. Children can also ideate some games and activities with the help of these play items. Parents should join the child in these new ideated activities. For example, one can build something by taking few pieces from each set of blocks, lego, tiles, cubes etc. New items like straws, dices, leaves etc. can be added.

In this rapidly changing world around us, Creative thinking is the most sought after skills in present and future jobs. Infact it develops survival instinct. The earlier the child gets introduced to this skill, it’s better. So, let’s get started to talk more about ideas, imaginations and creations with children.