Raising Creative Kids Part 3: Environment
This is part three of the Sprout series on raising creative kids. In our first installment we talked about how it is important to give your children encouragement and in the second we talked about how you need to get out and help them experience things that will help them to expand their creativity. This week we are going to talk about another important part of your kids’ creative development, the things around them.
Creative people need creative spaces. Artists have studios. Writers have their desk in their office. These spaces are important because environment can have a huge impact on how creatively a person thinks. That is why big companies that value creativity, like Apple or Google, go out of their way to make their office environment a place where creative thinking can flourish. The have bright colors, bicycles, and entertainment areas all to keep their employees thinking of fresh ideas.
If you want your kids to grow up creative you need to do the same thing. Give them a creative space and then let them fill it with all of their wonderful ideas. Here are a few of the essential things that you need to make such a place for your children.
A creative space needs to be comfortable. It is hard to make new things if your mind is focused on how much your back hurts from the chair you are sitting in. Your children need furniture that fits them and won’t get in their way. You might think that the kitchen table is a suitable place for them to get out the crayons and scrawl outside the lines, but most of the time the chairs are too tall for them to climb into easily and even when they are sitting on the chairs they can’t reach the table properly. Sure you could fix it with a booster seat or a few pillows, but that is still less than ideal.
The better solution is to find them a table that fits their little bodies and minds perfectly. That is what all of Sprout’s modern kids’ furniture is built for. The table and chairs set is made just to their size. They can slide in and out comfortably without having to find you to help them up and down. Plus the furniture won’t get in their way. They won’t have to worry about climbing on to the table to get a marker that has rolled out of their reach.
Noise and distraction are the biggest enemies to creativity. Have you ever tried to have a phone conversation in a bus terminal or other crowded area? It is difficult to concentrate on the conversation and sometimes you find yourself having to repeat things or responding incorrectly not because you can’t hear, but because there is so much going on.
This is even truer for your children. They have not yet learned to focus their attention and ignore everything around them. This is another reason why the kitchen table makes a less ideal creative space. If mom is making dinner, dad is watching TV in the living room, and older brothers and sisters are running in and out it is impossible to focus enough to hold a creative thought. It is much better to have a space apart. Somewhere that is free from distraction where creative ideas won’t get derailed by some external influence.
A creative space must be filled with creative things. An artist’s studio is full of artwork. A novelist’s office is full of books. You need to fill your children’s creative space with creative things that they can draw inspiration from.
This is what we have in mind when creating all Sprout products. The storage bins are covered in images that will stimulate your kids’ minds. You can choose from a number of different options or you can take the blank bins and decorate them with your children. The wall art tiles are also made specifically to inspire creativity. Every piece of Sprout furniture is designed to fit seamlessly into your child’s creative space.
Raising creative kids in our modern age can be tough. If you make sure to encourage them, let them experience things, and give them an environment where they can create you will be amazed at what they come up with.
Image credit: Flickr