Children are naturally creative thinkers and it is so important to nurture that creativity as they grow.  

Being creative is not only important in the arts, but is something that we rely on to be able to keep up with technological advances, emotional relationships, and problem-solving. In a world that’s quickly sweeping us into the future, it’s vital that we help our children to understand the value of creative thinking whilst being able to implement it in their day-to-day lives.

In this post, we’re going to look at 15 ways to encourage creative thinking that are simple and fun with no new toys required!



Ask your child to create a company that serves a particular need or is relative to a topic or subject that they enjoy learning about. This activity is great for practising creativity as well as imaginative writing skills – they’ll also learn the valuable skill of taking the time to figure out how they can help people through creating something of value.

Here are a few prompts that you might like to give them for this activity:

  • A name for the business
  • What is the main product or service?
  • How much does the service or product cost?
  • Design a logo
  • Create a tag line for the company that sums it up in one line
  • Who is the target audience?


Encouraging creative thinking doesn’t have to mean setting aside time for creative activities. Because let’s be honest, we don’t always have time for that! Creative thinking can start with simply asking your child questions about the things around you or that you are both witnessing at a particular time.

For example, you could ask them why the sky is blue, why the cake you made together is burnt, or for their opinion about a news piece or an event that happened at school.

One great tool out there that helps with this is the Kids Coach app which contains hundreds of questions to help you build the skills that will be needed in the future. 

Every moment holds the opportunity to ask countless questions – once you get started, it will be hard to stop! Try turning it into a conversation that you can both take part in to make it more interesting.


If something in the house needs repairing or building, why not find out how to do it together?

Next time there’s a power cut or the kitchen tap starts leaking, take the time to search the internet for easy-to-follow solutions so that you and your child can fix the problem together. Not only is this a great way to encourage creativity, but it will also equip them with lots of handy tools for adulthood.


Reading broadens the imagination and allows us to experience worlds and experiences different to the ones that we are living in. When we set aside time for our children to spend reading, we’re allowing them to see new possibilities and the world through someone else’s eyes – whether real or fictional!

Keep reading visiting a local library or bookstore where they can take some time to choose stories that pique their interest. Avoid guiding their choice or judging the books that they have chosen – which is, admittedly, sometimes the hardest part. Remember that there’s creativity to be found in all literature, be it in novels, comics, picture books, and encyclopedias (yep, they still exist!).

The important part is that our children develop a love of reading and learning, no matter their preferences.

“A book is a device to ignite the imagination

Alan Bennett


Boredom is the birthplace of creativity! How many times did your child, as a toddler, find something to entertain themselves amongst a selection of seemingly dull objects? Much to our wallet’s disgust, children seem to have the most fun with empty bottles and cardboard boxes – you know, the things that arrived in the house by chance, not the items that arrived following an inordinate amount of money…

Children are creative, naturally. This curiosity for life is something that we tend to lose as we get older. When we let our children get bored, they’ll always find something to entertain themselves eventually. Even if it takes an hour to get there.

Say no to the TV, continue as you are, and stay strong! Eventually, out of boredom, they’ll create a game or start engaging with something in a way that you couldn’t have come up with yourself if you tried!


The world is an interesting place, and it’s our job to help our children continue to see it that way once they’re out of infancy and toddlerhood.

Start pointing things out that could be interesting to your children. It might be an object on the floor, an animal filmed during a documentary, or anything new that they may not have seen before.

Another way to trigger curiosity is to read stories that end on a cliffhanger, giving your children lots of time to ponder the ending of the story and get really curious to know what happens next.


Open-ended toys are those which have no obvious beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes, they don’t even seem to have a primary purpose!

The wonder of open-ended toys is that they can be played with in lots of different ways without having an endpoint. Through open-ended toys and play, children have to consider their actions and problem-solve, all whilst being in absolute control over how they decide to engage with the toy.

If your child isn’t used to open-ended toys, it could take some time for them to get used to and you may find that they tire of the activity quickly. But stick with it! Eventually, they’ll find a way to engage with and enjoy this kind of play in a way that sparks unmeasurable creativity.


Though being asked question after question can feel frustrating – trust us, we get it! – it’s a great sign of curiosity and something that can lead to a wonderful embodiment of creativity.

When your children asks you a question, instead of giving them a straight answer, sit with them and see if you can help guide them towards finding the answer. You might like to use books alongside facts that they already know, as well as any information you have that could help them find the answer.

Not only will this inspire creativity, but it will help them to nurture another of our primary skills: problem-solving!

Story that wont end Preparing today's children for tomorrow.


As tempting as it can be to swoop in and guide our children towards an activity or object that we think might interest them, why not see what happens when they’re left in control? Subject to safety, obviously…

If play-pretend is one of your child’s favourite games, let them take the lead and decide where the story is going and what the characters are going to do next. Play the part that they give you, and if they seem a little stuck, simply ask what they would like to happen next in their game or where their character is going.

Another way to encourage this is to give them control over decision-making. If you’re going for a walk, let them choose the direction that you take (or offer them one of two options is needed!).


Leaving reviews for products, toys, games, activities and days out is a wonderful way to encourage creativity about what they learned or experienced and which elements they enjoyed the most. Discuss the good points and bad points and ask what they would improve if they had the chance. 

Our program, Future-proof Your Child is designed to include learning prompts and activities. If you do go through the program, why not leave a review together, letting us know which activities they liked best and what they would like to see more of. 


If there’s something about your household that you would like to change, come up with a solution together.

It could be that the shoes are always untidy or that there’s always an endless pile of toys in the living room. See what your child thinks could be done to solve the problem and take the time to come up with an effective solution together. If they suggest purchasing a toy box or shoe rack, let them help you to choose one!

You could also ask for their help in designing a cleaning/tidying rota for the family.

“Nature inspires creativity


Taking them on a nature hunt is not only a great way to get outside, but it’s also a great place to get creative. The outdoors is one of the best places to inspire creativity as it’s constantly changing and showing us new landscapes, objects, and scenery.

Take a bag or basket with you on your next trip outside and ask your children to collect anything that they find particularly interesting or beautiful that they can then bring home with them.

Once home, they could make art using the objects they’ve found, or perhaps even create a story about each object.


Praising our children’s efforts establishes a growth mindset that will encourage them to enjoy the process of thinking creatively as opposed to focusing only on the result.

When we praise the result and dismiss the effort that was put in to achieve it – and don’t worry, we all do it! – our children will stop focusing on the effort too. But the effort is where creativity flourishes! Sure, they may have gotten the maths question wrong, but look at the wonderful route they took to try and get to the answer.

Here are a few ideas:

Instead of “good job!”, try “I’ve been watching you build that for a while now and you’ve been trying really hard, it’s tricky isn’t it? Well done for not giving up!”

Instead of “that’s a great drawing!”, try “what a beautiful picture, I love the colours, why did you choose green?”

Instead of “well done!”, try “you worked really hard on that, I can see the effort you put in!”


Make it a weekly tradition to tell a true story from your own experience, but leave the ending up for debate. You might like to talk about a holiday that you took with your partner before your children were born or your child’s first experience of eating solid foods. Try to pick something that they will enjoy hearing about to spark an interest in the story and get their creative juices flowing.

Leave the story on a cliff-hanger and spend dinner time listening to the different ways that your children think the story might end before revealing the finale.


Cardboard boxes may well be the best children’s toy ever invented. They can be painted, stuck together, and cut into to create forts, castles, boats, and doll’s houses. There’s no end to the fun that can be had with cardboard boxes.

Next time you have something delivered to the house, save the cardboard boxes for creative play. Provide your children with paints, child-safe scissors, and tape before letting them go wild on creating something using the power of their imagination.

They’ll have fun, and you might be lucky enough to get 10 minutes to yourself!


The great news is that children are born creative, there’s very little that we need to do to spark creativity. The key is to let our children lead through open-ended play, get a little bored, and start recognising that everything is an opportunity to learn and have fun.

If you’d like to learn more about the importance of nurturing creativity in our changing world, check out our flagship course ‘Future-proof your child’ – a program designed to future-proof the next generation through teaching them the skills they will need in their future. 

What are your favourite ways to encourage creative thinking? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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