5 Reasons Why Children Need a Creative Outlet

Updated: Sep 1

Childhood is supposed to be about kids learning to explore their environment and figuring out how to react to the world.

School can be a good tool for this, but like as not, school is relegated to learning how to stand in line and how to take and pass tests. There isn’t much room for creativity in a traditional school setting, but children are still in need of a creative outlet.

Why is having a creative outlet so important for children, and what can we do as parents to ensure that kids have an outlet for their creativity?

1.  It Promotes Diversity

Our kids will encounter people of all sorts of different colors, creeds, and religions throughout their lives, but while they’re in school the biggest emphasis is on being like everyone else. Stand in line, don’t upset the status quo and whatever you do, don’t be different than anyone else.

A creative outlet serves as a reminder that, in spite of the push toward uniformity, everyone is different.  Everyone will interpret a creative project a little differently. Creative outlets don’t have to be limited to art projects through — sports, dance, art, hobbies, even computer science are all creative outlets and should be encouraged.

Don’t limit your child’s creativity by restricting the things that they’re ‘allowed’ to do — encourage everything that your children enjoy when it comes to creativity.

2.  It Helps To Teach Goal Setting

When you were a kid, did you know what you wanted to do with your life? Chances are, you probably changed your goal as an adult nearly as often as you changed your underwear — but that’s okay! Kids with a healthy creative outlet have the tools to create unique goals and the tools to make their goals a reality.

Not everyone thrives in the same situations — by enabling your kids to focus on the things that they love, you’re enabling them to learn the skills that they need to succeed in the real world. Creativity also encourages things like problem solving and thinking outside the box — skills that will be essential for your children to thrive once they start moving into the working world.

3.  It’s a Confidence Builder

The more you enjoy something, the more time you’re going to spend learning how to do it.  As you spend more time learning, you’ll eventually master your chosen hobby or creative outlet — which, in turn, leads to a giant boost of confidence.

This doesn’t just work for adults.  Kids benefit from this sense of mastery and the massive confidence boost as well — and this confidence translates into other aspects of their life as well. Everyone can benefit from a healthy dose of creativity, and the confidence that comes along with it, whether you’re an artist, a writer, a doctor, a lawyer, or a business owner.

4.  It Helps to Improve School Performance

You might not be learning Shakespeare or be memorizing your multiplication tables when you’re being creative but that doesn’t mean that creativity isn’t beneficial. Studies have found that students who participate in arts programs perform better in other areas of the school.  They’re 4 times more likely to win an academic award, 3 times more likely to win an attendance award, and a whopping 8 times more likely to win a community service award than students who do not participate in an arts program. These students are also more likely to score higher on college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT.

5. It’s a Big Part of a Well Rounded Childhood

Public schools in the United States don’t focus on creativity nearly as much as they used to.  The implementation of the Common Core curriculum and the focus on test scores hasn’t left a lot of room for creative endeavors.

When it comes right down to it, school systems aren’t designed to create well-rounded individuals. The creative outlets in a school setting are limited and many of the creative activities (especially sports) are limited by the number of people who are allowed to participate at any given time.  Don’t let school kill your kid’s creativity — if their school doesn’t offer any creative programs that they enjoy, look for programs offered locally, outside of the school curriculum.

Schools have been slashing creative programs in recent years in favor of more focus on the core academic classes and while it looks good on the test scores, it doesn’t do much for the creative side of things.

The best thing that we can do for our children is to encourage them to explore anything that they enjoy — and to facilitate that enjoyment whenever we can.  Give your kids the tools that they need and set them loose. They’ve got a better idea of what they enjoy than you ever will and if we give them free reign, they’ll do things that we never could have imagined.

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