Let’s nurture stories!

December 23, 2016

We have thinkers, dreamers and creators in our own house. Let’s nurture their stories!

  • Look at the picture

    Observe closely for a minute.

    What is it ?  Write your answer on a piece of paper.

    We have asked the same question to some of  our kind, “the adults”,   as well as our  innocent Sproutzies.

    What could be the possible answers?

  • 20161212_101047

  • Category A

  • So, why am I talking about this picture and what’s the story behind it? It all started with a nature walk with my 2 ½  year old. As we were passing by the plant, few things went through my mind. I know that my daughter knows the leaves, flowers, fruits. I wondered if she knew what a stem is. So, I asked  a very simple question, “What is this?” I was expecting an answer from the category A. Like a slap on my face, I immediately got a response, “It’s a zero tree.” I wondered if I heard her correctly. So, I asked her again. She promptly tried to rephrase her answer and clarified it further so that, my pea-brain could comprehend her thought. “It’s empty tree. Because, there are no leaves, no flowers.” Not even in my wildest imagination would I have come up with such a thoughtful word.  Although this may be a specific incident that I narrated here, I am sure few other similar conversations with your kids would come to your mind. I am just trying to say that all young kids across the world are brewing with more such creative and imaginative ideas.

  • Although the creative edge is very natural in children, it will slowly get overshadowed by the facts and theories that they learn as they grow up.  I am sure that all of you would agree that this “out-of-the box” thinking capability is a true asset to have because,  all the inventions, discoveries and even some great literature is the result of the people’s ability to dream, imagine and think out of the box. We wouldn’t be flying across the world if it wasn’t for Wright brothers’s imagination. India’s  very own indigenous version of a ‘space shuttle’, a fully made-in-India effort,  was possible because of Dr. Kalam’s big dreams!

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful  to preserve and regulate this  beautiful talent that they have in abundance?  Are we , as parents, doing the right things to “nurture their stories”?

    Yes! We can enable our kids to dream, imagine and think creative by following these simple steps:

    Read, listen & make stories with your kid

    Immerse in the wonderful world of imagination with your kiddo by dedicating some reading time each day. I guarantee that it will be a truly rewarding/rejuvenating experience for you as well. Better yet, start making your own stories with your kids. It feels great when you have the power to imagine a flying tree…

    Ask open-ended questions

    Open-ended questions have an amazing power to churn the young minds. Open-ended questions start with what, why, how, describe. The beauty of these questions is that there may not be a right or wrong answer.  It just allows them to think.  You can ask questions like : “What if people could fly?” “What if people lived on the Moon?” “What if dolphins walked on land?” “How can we clean up the living room faster?” “How could we water the plants when we go on a vacation?” You will be amazed with all the creative answers your child gives… But remember, there will be no right or wrong answers. Give them freedom to share all their thoughts.

    Allow them to make simple choices

    Prompting them to make decisions about simple choices encourages them to think independently. Give them simple choices  such as what to eat for dinner or where to go on a weekend.

    Let them get bored!

    Out of boredom comes creativity. All of us are constantly getting over stimulated with screens everywhere. Kids are no exception. Their brains are constantly kept busy to the point that they never have downtime to think. They start whining at the first instance they were challenged to be bored. We go to a restaurant and we get bothered by our kids because they can’t handle boredom.  We immediately resort to giving them a device so that, we can have a quiet dinner. If we schedule some down time for the children everyday, they will probably get used to behaving properly in a restaurant.  Let the child feel and face some boredom. This will force the child to think creative. 

    Be prepared with items to stimulate their imagination

    Once they are ready to be creative, we need to provide an environment that allows them to express their creativity. It could be old toys or phones to tinker or  art and craft supplies or blocks or books. They can all contribute to elaborate their imagination and creativity.

    Encourage unconventional use of  toys and other materials

    May be pasta can be used to make a necklace. May be paper can be used to make a dress. May be a cardboard tube can be a telescope.  May be a palace can be built out of straws.Encourage all your child’s ideas, praise him or her for such an impressive imagination.

    Play with your child  

    Work together to create dramatic situations. For example- go trekking for a few days and use naturally available items from surroundings as props for your pretend play . Pretend play allows children to imagine and trigger their creativity.

    Be prepared for “messy play”

    Allowing them to play with sand, mud, flour, powder or play dough gives them freedom to express. These mediums not only invoke their creativity but also, allow them to self-correct from their mistakes. You can designate an area such as balcony where mess is welcome. Make it a rule that they must help clean up once they finish playing.

    Allow room for mistakes

    Whatever the child works on need not be perfect or even correct. Each child has a perspective. What might not be correct from your perspective would have been absolutely correct from your kid’s perspective. Be open-minded and understand their thought process before criticizing. You may have all the good intentions in doing so. But, the child may stop doing the activity just to avoid your judgement.    

    Encourage children to ask questions

    Never ever curb their curiosity by restricting them to ask questions or express ideas. Because, that is one precious asset that you might want to save for the rest of their life.


    Let’s nurture the creative element in our kids.

    Let them dream, imagine and think out of the box.

    Today’s dreamers are tomorrow’s achievers!

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