Simulation of creativity among my kids for me would mean giving them an environment where they can let their imagination run free and think without barriers. My elder son Nik is soon going to be 4 years and there are a gamut of activities that I have done with him and still continue to do to help him fly high with his imagination. Some of these activities have been –
1) Story Telling
2) Playing with Blocks
3) Scribbling with Crayons on the Newspapers
These activities undoubtedly gave a strong foundation of self-thought building for him. Currently, he is in a phase where the efforts made with the above mentioned activities are reaping fruits and he is doing stuff a little more independently. I encourage him with the following activities to let him fly high with his imagination.
I have been reading to Nik since he was 6 months. I have around a dozen story books currently which I read to him in turns. For the last six months, I added a new dimension to this activity. With a book in my hand, I started asking him question like
a. What do you see in the picture?
b. What is the character in the book doing?
c. What is happening in the picture?
d. What do you think will happen next?
The above questions give him enough leads to think on his feet and come up a story of his own. The stories are kind of absurd, but they are cute and are a reflection of what and how my Nik’s mind works. So for the picture where Alladin enters the cave to find a room full of jewels, Nik has his own version. According to him, Alladin was getting bored during his vacations so he asked his uncle to take him to the secret cave where he could play with the toys. But wen he comes to the cave instead of his toys he finds these jewels and a lamp. He decides to play with the lamp and finds a Gennie.
A simple one, yet I was impressed!
Ever since he was born, Nik has been in a habit of listening to lullabies while being put to sleep. Let me tell you all that Nik is a slightly difficult child to put to sleep. He wants to wait for his father who generally works late enough if it means remaining awake well past his sleeping time. So I have to placate him through new stories and lullabies. Where would I learn so many lullabies from? Or rather why would I spend time learning lullabies? So I decided to make my own lullabies. I used the rhythm of the existing lullabies and put in my own words in them. So for example, the one line from “Nani teri morni ko Mor le gaye…” became “Papa apke Nikku ko Chachu le gaye, Aur apke pass Kairavi ko chod gaye” (Kairavi is his first cousin) “Khake Peeke Lambe hoke Nikku pahuncha class mein, Class mein sab exercise karke Nikku ban gaya Strong re”. I know it sounds absurd but he really enjoys these and has now started coming up with his own versions.
Playing with Clay
This is something I picked up from my own childhood. I along with my sister in our childhood were always high on making something or the other with clay. So is the case with the toddlers in my household. Currently what they make is not anything definite, but its fun to listen to their description of weird things that they make. I am sure it’s the imaginative nerve tickling within them.
We have all done it in our childhood. Remember the never-ending “Ghar-ghar” , “Chor-Police” acts which went on like the current day soap operas (only that ours where very innocent in our agendas such as How to convince mom to buy us a chocolate today or How to convince dad to take us for an outing?) I initially engaged in role plays with my toddlers where I am the monster who is out to search for kids who have not had their dinner. Recently Nik has become the monster who is out to look for Mamma(s) who does not give candies to children. Some days he plays a cab driver, a Chaat vendor or a mechanic. I am sure he will soon graduate to being a pilot, or a teacher, or his favorite super hero.