As a creative professional how do you encourage the creativity of the children / young people around you?

Is it about fun and play? Or do you inspire them to think a creative profession themselves? What tools or technology have you introduced them to, or have they introduced to you?


  • Encouragement and building discipline, if they are children let them show you what they can do. The excitement keeps them engaged and once you have connected with them on that level.
    They will become more open to your concepts, coaching creativity to the younger mind can be challenging, it needs to be fun otherwise they will lock on to something else, being boring is no fun.

    I have taught kids how to draw, paint and even the fundementals of basketball. The key is to form a strategy to make them aspire to gain what you offer and be animated around them.
  • @Tom Ellery Hi Tom! Yes, I recognised your name immediately.

    I'm an independant visitor for a young person though Action for Children (though also mentor professional creatives through SheSays and would encouage you to look into both if you can).

    The young teenager and I have done projects with pencils, pastels, fabric pens etc... and she has a real eye for patterns so might make some wrapping paper prints next. Due to *waves hands around* all this, we need to agree these activities in advance so I can get materials delivered to her home, though her ideas often take us in new directions.

    It's got me thinking a lot about creativity and my own journey from arcylic paints to teaching myself how to use photoshop as a teen and now making a living out of ideas. So it's really interesting hearing parents saying to keep away from technology (which is perhaps my instinct too). In this current climate do we need to be putting more emphasis on the importance creativity will play in their contribution to the future, or is just being imaginative enough?
  • @Anna Rose Kerr hey, not sure if you remember me Anna from our time at WorkClub, but I love this thread and that you’re mentoring someone.

    How did you get into that, I’d love to know. With all this down time, supporting an up and comer would be great, I’d love to know more.

  • I tell my kids that we can make whatever they want and I will go and get the materials.

    We spend a lot of time with bits of paper and our pencils, doodling, drawing and writing. I try to ensure that they have freedom to create and support them in their ideas, regardless of what they might be, it usually leads to a lot of fun thinking and the making of some very bizarre things.

    I think the key is to show them that there is no limit to creative thought and the execution, that no idea is a bad idea, oh and lots and lots of paper and crayons.

    My kids are 3 and 8
  • I don't think it's about anything specific, more about the approach. I try not to answer too many questions and get my kids to answer them for themselves. I also try not to set too many boundaries when it comes to creative play with playdough, lego, painting, dress-up etc....
  • I love this question!
    I don't have kids nor am I around any small children but this made me wonder for how would I work around that as I find creative development is very important. What comes to mind is certainly staying away from technolody as long as possible.
    - Books
    - Pencils,crayons, DIY, a wide vareity of things that can be done by hand
    - Plenty of child - parent workshops out there
    - Engagement with the live, visit farms, spend times with animals, in nature
    - Saw together, cook together, dance together (even teach a small choreography), if you do yoga, get them a small mat and engage them in the activity

    Yeah, I mean plenty of things come to mind.
    Hope this helps!
  • @Mark Aldridge that's a really lovely way to look at it. When it comes to sharing your story, I suppose that's where my question comes in about what tools and technology they express themselves with.
  • @Mauricio Munoz This sounds really fun! And so wonderful his teddies are sharing in stories. I mentor a young teenager and of course at the moment everything is via screen, so looking for ways we can use our imaginations, hands, art supplies beyond that has been so important for both of us.
  • I do imaginary play with my toddler. I often initiate the topic (food realted, adventure, creatures, etc..) and let him lead the way. Utilising what's at hand sticks, playdough, kitchen utensils... packing boxes often turn into cars/spaceships... etc.. lots of crafts and paitning.
    it's hard, it's tyring. but i don't want him to grow glued to tv or ipads.. although he can get around 30mins a day of it..
    i think technology would be further introduce as another vehicle to express himself, just like crayons or piano, or anything else.
    we do lots of storytime, which he enjoys to a point of finding him reading stories on his own to his teddies. (he's 2)
  • I do not think technology is anything like as powerful as the imagination.
    In my experience, the greatest and most powerful force is curiosity. Stimulating that comes down to how much one encourages children to tell their stories... and a key stimulus is your story. How exciting and enriching are the narratives you share and bring to life?

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