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We all want to raise creative and curious kids. The world needs people who think outside the box but remain thirsty for knowledge and excited about discovery for their entire lifetime. But, how do you foster curiosity and creativity in your child?

With summer vacation around the corner, it’s time for parents to start thinking about ways to keep kids engaged, creative, and learning all summer long. Here are a few simple things you can do to encourage creativity.

Limit Screen Time

Removing screen time altogether may not be feasible for you, but putting limits on how much time your kids spend in front of a screen is possible. Many tablets, laptops, and smartphones come equipped with parental controls that limit the number of hours they can be used. Several apps can be installed on electronic devices that limit the number of hours spent in use and which functions, websites, or services the device can access. Giving your children a break from the screens in their lives will allow time for them to think, dream, and, most importantly, create to avoid boredom.

Go Outside

Find an outdoor activity that you can do either as a family or individually. Encourage kids to play outside every day. Whether that means setting up a basketball hoop or providing them with plenty of sidewalk chalk, getting kids outside and active not only nurtures their physical development but also sparks creativity. It would help if you encouraged them to modify familiar games to make them more fun or to make up their games.

Choose Open-Ended Toys/Games

Choose toys and games that allow the imagination to run wild. Sand, markers, building blocks, office supplies, and crafting supplies can provide hours of creative play. Most importantly, it allows your kids to explore their creativity and problem solve without judgment. Who says hippos can’t be purple?

Let Them Help Plan

Do you ask for input from your kids? Can they help to choose what you have for dinner? Independent thinkers and learners are kids who know how to make choices. They know how to look at what is available, consider the outcomes, and make the best choices for them. This begins with you. Having breakfast for dinner might not sound like fun for you, but allowing kids to choose and help to plan fun activities helps them to be creative and independent.