Creativity and empathy are some of the most important skills to nurture in children, and each significantly contributes to the other. When you take a social and emotional approach to an otherwise more academic lesson or teaching, children can broaden their perspectives and avoid being passive receivers of information at home or school.
Photography can be an excellent way for children to explore creative ways of
capturing the world around them while also helping them connect and empathize
with their subjects.
A digital camera can be great for older kids and teens who can benefit from more
advanced gear, and they come in a range of shapes, sizes, styles, and
capabilities that suit your child’s needs and style. A versatile model like the
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 provides excellent photo and video capabilities that your
child can use to their advantage when exploring their creative edge.
Younger kids also have special cameras made with them in mind, so they’re
easier to handle while still being a lot of fun. There are several on the market. I
use the VTech KidiZoom PrintCam, a child-friendly instant camera that lets kids
take photos and print them out, allowing them to hold onto special moments they
can look back on and learn from.
You’d be surprised, but the ever-popular plushies are tools that build creativity and empathy. You and your child can use these soft toys to develop stories and worlds and have them react to certain situations as the characters of their toys. Plushies can also represent the child or someone else, and you can act out specific scenarios that push kids to think creatively while staying attentive to others’ feelings.
Certain plushies are also made for navigating emotions, allowing kids to foster empathy even further.
Plushies like Kimochis come with mini plush emotions that kids can use to identify their feelings or point them out in others. These meaningful toys can help them distinguish between specific emotions so they can better articulate what they need or help them be more aware of how others are feeling. Another benefit to plushies is that kids of all ages can enjoy them, even well into adulthood. A child with empathy and creativity can find great use and care for them for years to come.
They also present a chance for kids to work collaboratively with parents and
other kids like siblings, relatives, or playmates. Using chalkboards or whiteboards can help them work together with others or see things from another’s perspective.
Younger kids can work with a small easel like a double-sided chalkboard,
allowing two kids to simultaneously work on their own creative endeavors. An
alternative is dry-erase or whiteboard paint, which can be used to cover a whole
wall and turn it into a whiteboard. Having an entire wall as a drawing surface can
be used by more people at once, and they’re great for older kids who may want a
bigger surface to work on.