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How to Stimulate Creative Thinking in Your Child

How to stimulate creative thinking among children this holiday

Many parents think that creativity can’t be learned and it’s an inborn talent.  That either a child is born with or without it. However, the truth is that creativity is a skill that can be developed in every child. There are various activities that adults can do to create an environment that helps the child become more creative.

One would ask why training their child to be creative would be important? Creativity is key to one’s success and happiness in life.  It can help one navigate through life by providing them with problem-solving skills, social skills and even help them when it comes to dealing with change.

It is often thought that creativity is limited to musical and artistic expression but that is not the case. The ability to think creatively impacts a person’s aptitude for math and science, and improves their social and emotional intelligence.

In today’s world with its technological advancements, children are exposed to excessive amounts of information on television, computers, and toys early and while they ‘know’ a lot, this can actually hinder their imagination. It is based on these reasons that we propose various ways that parents even in the presence of all these gadgets, can encourage their children to be more creative.

  1. Provide Time for Creative Expression

Children are able to improve their imagination and creative thinking when they engage in unstructured play which is imaginative and child-directed. This, therefore, means that you should leave the child to his or her own whims. If in the presence of other children, as an adult, you shouldn’t direct there play or tell them what to play but leave the child to discover on their own. Apart from time, provide them with space where they can be creative and express themselves.

  1. Create an environment at home that encourages creativity

Making creative spaces at home isn’t enough. You need to go ahead and foster a creative atmosphere for the child. A good example is by asking your child open-ended questions during dinner time. Leave the child to imagine and come up with the right answers. Always remember that there is no wrong answer and this process is meant to encourage your child to explore different ideas. The questions can be random. Don’t decide for your child the best ideas or tell them that some ideas aren’t possible.

At home, you can place art on the walls so that it encourages creative expression. You can further discuss with your children about famous writers, painters, artists or musicians.  This will make them more curious.

  1. Encourage your child to act and not worry about making mistakes

We learn very early to fear failure and this is something many people carry into their adulthood. Teaching your child that there is nothing wrong with failing gives them the requisite confidence to venture into new territory. When a child fears failing, they limit their creativity and imagination.

Some great ways that you can make a child see there is nothing wrong with failing is sharing the mistakes you have also made or encouraging them to laugh it off when they fail and try again. That is exactly what Hive Creative Studio is all about. Contact us at https://hivekids.com.au/about-hive/ and allow your child to gain confidence, blossom and learn to express themselves while having a memorable time.

Parenting Through Sibling Rivalry in the School Holidays

How to Parent Through Sibling Rivalry in The Holiday

Every time the word ‘sibling’ comes up, it usually seems to be accompanied by ‘rivalry’ despite the fact that most sibling relationships are solid and loving. Sibling rivalry is a common challenge in every household, and it doesn’t make it easier on a parent’s sanity. Let’s just face it one minute they are playing nicely and the next they are arguing like crazy over some small toy or issue.  Truth is disagreements among siblings are unavoidable. Children will always tease each other and fight over toys. School holidays, though a happy time certainly deal their fair share of sibling rivalry!  Here’s some tips to help you with some parenting wins!

  1. Set up individual stations

If you have preschoolers, then you are already familiar with setting up individual activities or stations for kids to move between. Setting up individual stations keep children of all ages occupied for longer periods. It also helps keep sibling rivalry to a minimum as they are separate. For outdoor activities consider setting up messier activities like air-dry or oven-bake clay modeling, painting and play dough. School-age children are already familiar with this kind of process so you can easily rotate them between spaces every few minutes.

  1. Be your children’s ally

Many sibling rivalry issues arise out of the desire to win the parent to their ‘side’. Avoid taking sides at all costs, and instead place the responsibility on the children fighting to work out their own problem, under your supervision, or take an equal share of the consequence. Change tactics with all children over the age of three by planning a meeting rather than constantly disciplining them. For the meeting write rewards on a piece of paper and set the rules for behavior. Also, allow and encourage children to set their own rules and consequences as they are likely to come up with more creative and often more severe consequences than you would (you may have to tame their ideas down a little)!! And they’re more motivated to stick to their own rules and accept their own consequences.

  1. Establish support networks

If you are lucky enough to have your family living close by, use them to your advantage! Grandparents are especially great when it comes to splitting up your kids for a day or so to give them their own space. Alternatively set up play dates with your kid’s school friends. In reality, no family is perfect, and parents need a time out. Play dates and half-date exchanges are a great solution to sibling rivalry.

  1. One on one time

For a lot of children one on one time with a parent gives them a chance to unwind and enjoy the undivided attention. So when one child becomes more dominating, it’s time to set individual time aside to instill positive balance in the parent-child relationship. Individual time also gives you as a parent time to reflect and work on their capabilities. Two person activities like art or playing games are a great reward as compared to shopping or food related rewards.

  1. Nip boredom in the bud

Most of the time sibling rivalry is caused by boredom. To prevent sibling fights start eacy day with energy-consuming activities that will meet your child’s need to move. In addition, you can book your children into holiday workshops that will inspire their creative thinking, shaping their play at home afterwards.  It’s a great idea to enrol your children into separate workshops so they get some time away from each other 🙂

Sibling rivalry is one of the natural parts of growth despite your best efforts as a parent. Change the cycle of sibling rivalry by enrolling your children into Hive’s amazing variety of creative holiday workshops.

Creative Thinking improves a child’s ability to invent their own play

Children naturally have short attention spans and it is common for them to complain of boredom. Watching television or playing on ipads or tablets is a common way children distract and if not carefully regulated, they can spend excessive amounts of time on the screen leading to vision and learning problems.

There are various other ways children can spend their time which in the end can be more productive as compared to watching television or rather staying idle and complaining of boredom.

Creative Thinking Among Children

It is a common misconception among many parents that creative thinking in children is an intrinsic trait that one is naturally born with or rather is found among certain people who have unusual talents.

However, this isn’t the case.  Creative thinking can be nurtured in any child.

Creativity has various benefits among children and this includes development of cognitive skills in the child, problem solving, communication, development of literacy skills, physical dexterity and exertion and making interpretations.

Expressing Emotions

In addition, creative expression further assists the child to express their emotions and work through them to not only gain relief but understand them.

For example, if your child is experiencing anger, you can ask them to draw a picture portraying what they feel. Alternatively, you can play varied genres of music and ask your child how the music makes them feel.

Social Development

Creative thinking significantly leads to the development of the child’s social ability. Participation in various creative activities such as dancing, singing or theatre trains the child in the importance of paying attention and secondly teaches the child to understand social rules such as co-operation.

Physical Development

When a child works with art materials such as paint, crayons, play dough and paint brushes, it improves their fine motor skills. Other activities such as mural painting, dancing, building complex objects such as Lego and theatre improve their gross motor skills.

Language Development

When children engage in creative play, they are able to improve their vocabulary by learning new words. There are various ways parents and guardians can improve language expression in children and this includes conversing with the child especially with regards to the emotions they are experiencing or playing different kinds of music and trying to find out how it makes them feel.

Cognitive Development

Children develop their cognitive skills such as cognitive learning and their attention span when they participate in creative activities. This is because at that point in time, their imagination is occupied and it further encourages them to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. This way, they are able to learn how to explore and be in a position to solve problems.

Simple activities like playing with dough can help a child learn basic mathematical skills such as concepts of less and more. The same can be said of learning about classification and grouping, cause and effect and the physical properties of objects. One of the best ways children can learn these concepts is through play and painting.

Creative Development for Kids at Hive

At Hive Creative Studios we recognise the importance of developing the kind of creative thinking that will lead to real talent and skill giving kids the ability to proud of themselves and to contribute in meaningful ways to the community around them.

If you have children in the under 5 yr old age group, check out our premium creative development program: Bee-School where your child can participate in a 3 or 6 hour session (drop off) in a variety of creative programs like dance, song, instrument play, art, drama and languages.

 

If you have children over 5, check out our after school programs in drama, piano, singing, art and combo classes.

Or join a holiday workshop to get some creative inspiration for your holidays!

We do our very best to provide a relaxed and creative environment for children to learn grow and have fun. Visit our website to enrol or get more information on holiday workshops.

 

How to Nurture Healthy Social Skills for Kindergarten

Starting School for the first time is a big milestone in a child’s life. Kindergarten is the beginning of a learning path that will support and guide your child’s future for the rest of their lives. But a common concern that a lot of parents have here in Australia is whether or not their child is ready to start Kindergarten, and how they can help their kids develop the necessary social skills and emotional strength for such an important step in their lives.

A tried and true way of developing great social skills and healthy emotional regulation is through role play and acting within a group.  Multiple studies have shown the key role that drama classes play in building social skills during childhood. In fact, researchers point out that drama classes have even been associated with increasing social skills in autistic children. According to the Indiana University of Bloomington, “[t]heatre activities can be used to teach emotion recognition and expression, non-verbal behaviors and gestures, listening skills, eye contact, conversation skills, strategies to handle social situations, and critical social skills.” These are important benefits for a child, but they go far beyond that.

Drama classes are known for exercising teamwork, as children must collaborate with each other to make their mime or play successful. They also exercise self-confidence by learning how to present themselves, express themselves and speak in front of a group of people. Interacting in drama games and plays challenges a child to use their imagination and to think creatively. Other skills that drama classes can teach children are flexibility and problem solving, as the child develops the important acting skill of improvisation.

An unknown fact to many however, is that these social skills can be developed in children through drama classes way before kindergarten. Kids can start their drama classes at as early as three years of age. Starting a child in drama classes from such a young age, gives them the chance to develop their social skills so they can be well prepared for such an important stage of their lives.

At Hive, we offer drama classes for Pre-School children right through to High-School age teens. Our Drama Bees program caters to the needs of children from 3 to 8 years old and our Stage Bees Program was specifically designed for kids from ages 8 to 12 and 12 – 16 years old.  We also offer drama classes through Bee School, a complete Pre-School arts education program that includes art, dance, language and music classes for kids age 3-6 years old.

Give us a call today to schedule a tour.

Hot Tips for School-Holiday Survival!

Once again the school holidays have crept up on us!  The much-needed break is a perfect opportunity for parents to enjoy some quality time with the kids. Children fully benefit from the time off from the usual pre-school or school routine, but sometimes school holidays can end up being a juggling act for their parents. Balancing caring for children with work is a hard and sometimes expensive task. Unless you have plans holidaying away from home, then you will face the looming predicament of entertaining your kids, managing to get work around the house done while at the same time making sure that siblings don’t get on each other’s nerves. However, get it right and this holiday, and every other holiday will be a lovely time for you and the kids. Here are some tips on how to survive and enjoy school holidays!

  1. Plan ahead

It pays to plan ahead especially when it comes to school holidays. If you are going away for a family vacation make life easy by giving yourself enough time beforehand and after the holiday for packing, unpacking, and washing. It’s a good idea to space out the planned trips and holiday activities. You don’t want to do the exciting stuff all at once and end up with tired and bored little ones for the remaining period. Spacing out fun activities will also be easy on your pocket especially if you have a limited budget.

  1. Stock up on craft equipment and activities.

Planned indoor activities will be a great way to keep children entertained throughout the school holidays especially if you have to work or for the rainy days. Keep the kids focused and busy with puzzles, board games, and craft boxes. Be on the lookout for craft kits sales. Get more easy DIY craft activities ideas from the internet or the local library. Kids are also resourceful – encourage their creativity by encouraging them to use their imagination to come up with their own games.

  1. Involve your friends and family

Family and friends are always a huge support. A trip to the grandparents, cousins or relatives place for a few days can be nice for the children. Your friends will also be looking to entertain their kids during the school holidays and it could be mutually beneficial. Plan activities together for ready entertainment for the kids and much-needed adult conversation for you. The children will be more than happy to play together while you enjoy a nice chat. You can also consider child share for a few days with your family members and reciprocate by also taking care of their kids.

  1. Make use of community resources

Make great use of free community resources in your locale. Keep an eye out on kid-friendly events advertised on local community centres, churches or library websites, and noticeboards. Take kids with you to the local library.

  1. Bring in the professionals

There are various groups and clubs in Newcastle providing a wide range of interests to keep kids busy and stimulated during the holidays. Whether you choose to sign up your kids for a few hours or a couple of days, they are sure to benefit by being inspired to try new interests and skills. Hive Creative Studios provides a relaxed and creative environment for your child to socialize, bond, learn, grow and have fun.

Now that you have tips to cruise through the upcoming school holidays. Why don’t you check out our school holiday workshops and give your children the opportunity to discover and develop new talents and build happy holiday memories.

Why is correct pencil grip important?

Parents usually watch out for all of the important aspects of childhood learning. However, even for the most attentive parents, small details such as the importance of a good pencil grip can go unnoticed. And why is this important?

For one, a good pencil grip facilitates legibility, letter formation, speed and endurance. An efficient pencil grip is one in which the writing tool is controlled only through finger movements. This occurs when the pinky side of the hand supports the whole hand against the writing surface, allowing the other fingers to hold and move the pencil/pen/crayon.

Holding a pencil or pen correctly requires strong finger and hand muscles and dexterity. A correct pencil grip will enable the writer to move the fingers, controlling the pencil or pen with efficient finger movements. The ability to hold a pencil correctly can affect a child’s attitude to learning and school work, their academic achievement  as well as their motor/joint development. Incorrect pencil grip is painful and causes the child’s hand and arm to fatigue quickly.

 

According to experts, 3 yrs old is an ideal age to start learning correct pencil grip.  A great way for kids to exercise pencil grip is through art classes, where they’ll learn to draw, colour, and follow patterns. Kids who learn correct pencil grip enjoy fine motor activities more, as their hands don’t get sore from drawing and colouring.

At  Bee School, we help children to develop fine motor control and a good pencil grip during their art lessons.