How To Foster Creativity in Kids



Creativity is crucial in early childhood development. It doesn’t merely stimulate children’s imagination and curiosity but also supports their optimal development and growth, including physical, social, emotional, and cognitive factors.


It also helps kids improve their communication skills, manage their emotional states (e.g., coping with their feelings and fears), and develop positive views towards change, challenge, and self-initiated learning.


As parents, here’s how to create and set a learning environment to foster your kids’ creativity.

Utilise Free Play

Playtime naturally encourages children. It offers them an opportunity to master their environment, examine a scenario from multiple perspectives, and control experience through their own imaginations. Overall, it helps them develop individual styles of creative expression.


Specifically, kids should engage in creative play. It’s fundamental in improving their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development, making it an ideal way to develop and boost their basic skills for everyday life.


Creative play can be in the forms of arts and crafts, building, or playing around. Opt for sensory materials to not only stimulate their senses but also spark their imagination. For example, use MyHappyHelpers’ Premium Toddler Climbing Equipment. Climbing helps with their motor processing (voluntary muscular activities) and their bodies’ proprioceptive input (awareness of the body and movement related to joints).


Allow kids to play outside as well. For example, plan outdoor hikes, visit nature centres, go camping in a tent, or take them on a group bike ride, ideally as part of your regular family routine. Note that nature is a powerful and ever-changing tool that encourages children to use their imagination, explore, experiment, discover, and take risks.


Letting children play freely can be hard on parents. Finding the right balance between allowing creativity to emerge naturally and imposing boundaries can be tricky to master. Still, during this stage of childhood, parents shouldn’t discourage kids from exploring new ideas. They must be extra patient and think of the benefits of playing more.

Encourage Exploration

Kids learn best when exploring and discovering the world using their bodies and senses. Doing so lets them express their curiosity and traverse multiple early learning goals simultaneously.


Exploration is crucial for kids’ pivotal developmental stages. Besides creativity, it also benefits kids’ physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Kids who tend to explore more show high levels of physical activity, which is good for their health, physical fitness, and motor skills. They’re also found to have a keener sense of self, better critical thinking skills, more sociable, healthier level of independence, more emotionally mature, and more self-confident.


That’s why many childhood care centres focus on activities that encourage exploration. Examples of such activities are music lessons, visiting new places, backyard botany exploration, digging outdoors in the dirt for treasures or indoor scavenger hunts, and playing with fine motor skills toys like wooden blocks, legos, playdough, or threading toys.

Buy Open-Ended Toys

Open-ended toys are playing materials that can be played with in several ways. Unlike close-ended toys like puzzles, they don’t have a clear ending point. As a result, kids have to figure out how to use and play with them, stimulating their imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills.


Examples of these open-ended toys are blocks, play silks (toys made of silk or silk-like materials), wooden figures, dolls, loose parts, wooden train sets, balls, arts and crafts, play food, trays, doll’s house, bags, baskets and trolleys, and treasure baskets.

Engage in Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts have always been an integral part of early childhood education as they can help children not only foster creativity but also develop many critical life skills. These include fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, critical thinking, confidence and independence, and social skills.


Besides self-expression, arts and crafts can stimulate kids’ senses, especially ages 1-5. Specifically, incorporating art activities with sensory play engages them with new textures, sounds, smells, and situations without any expectations and preconceived notions, allowing them to develop new sensory information naturally.

Toddler Climbing Fun with MyHappyHelpers' Indoor Frame

Allow Them to Join in The Kitchen

Cooking is another way to foster creativity and imagination. For example, kids can express themselves creatively by shaping cookies, designing cakes with frosting/icing, or moulding dishes like sushi or kimbap.


It also improves their cognitive and language development. They can learn how to count, measure, follow a sequence, follow directions, and improve their vocabulary by learning the names of ingredients and kitchen utensils they’re using. The communication required to follow the steps of a certain recipe will benefit their ability to ask questions, express wishes, and voice out disagreement.


Allowing them to do the cooking activities hands-on can develop and improve their fine motor and eye-hand coordination skills and encourage children to be self-directed and independent. For example, let them chop, mix, squeeze, and spread ingredients. However, be sure to leave them with kid-friendly utensils, such as high-quality plastic knives with serrated edges.

Final Thoughts

Praising children’s creativity is as important as fostering it. However, parents must be careful not to use it in the wrong way. It’s one of the main motives for how children act. They may end up liable for doing things over for the wrong reasons and growing up to be problematic ones. Make sure not to overpraise. Instead, focus on the effort rather than not the person doing it or the result

How to choose eye protection for travel

Sunglasses are not just cosmetic accessories that give you a unique style wearing them, but also necessary since their main job is to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Choosing them is a grave matter, and it would not be suitable for your criteria to be based only on the aesthetic part, but to keep in mind some other parameters, especially in the case of a trip during which you will be exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Below you will find answers to all your questions to find out what sunglasses suit you!

Proper frame and good fit

A frame is considered suitable when it has the necessary size for everyone’s face. It should not come in contact with certain parts of your face, such as the temples, eyelids, eyebrows, cheeks, because there is a possibility of some kind of intolerance. Improper application of sunglasses can make them unsuitable for use.


Protection filters

Remember that sunglasses’ most basic “job” is to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. A good pair of sunglasses is labelled UV 400. This means that it prevents UVA and UVB rays from entering your eyes while keeping the area around them healthy. It would be good to use your glasses daily, even during the winter months, for more comfortable vision.


Lens material

Take some time to find the material you want your sunglasses to be made of. The material is related to durability, cost as well as other parameters.


  • Glass, although very fragile, quite heavy and thick material compared to others, but gives an excellent level of visual acuity and is resistant to scratches.
  • Polycarbonate is a light and thin material that at the same time offers a relatively high level of optical clarity. It has excellent UV absorption.
  • Plastic, lightweight material, highly resistant to breakage, offers a satisfactory level of visual clarity.


Lens colour

It affects how you distinguish colours and their contrasts, as well as the percentage of light that enters your eyes. The UV filter has absolutely nothing to do with how dark or light your sunglasses lens is.


  • Green, brown and grey. They are considered the most suitable for everyday use. They do not change colours and, in conditions of medium and high sunshine, are highly effective.
  • Golden yellow, orange. They are considered excellent for winter sports. They provide a high sense of depth and perform very well in medium and low light conditions.
  • Red and pink. Ideal lenses to be used in an environment dominated by blue and green. They perform exceptionally well in common light conditions and do not offer much shading.
  • Mirror lenses. These lenses provide almost 100% protection for the eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Also significantly reducing the amount of light that reaches the eyes. They do not change the perception of colours, and the user does not notice any difference in his vision. The way to find out what shade these lenses are is to observe them from the front. Mirror lenses have the “charisma” to enhance image significantly.

Where can you get your sunglasses?

Of course, from an optical store. Skilled workers will help you with their knowledge to find the right sunglasses for your needs. But before you go to an optician’s shop, you should visit a specialist ophthalmologist, who will examine your vision in detail and give you the appropriate tips to protect your eyesight during your trip. An ophthalmologist such as Aris Konstantopoulos of Aris Vision Correction clinic will be able to offer you the best services and tips on protecting and maintaining your vision at normal levels.

And for my next trick… the juggle!

It’s been a bit of a year, hasn’t it? I don’t just mean good old Rona and the never ending story that is lockdown. Just everything. My children are now 19, 15 and 6. I haven’t seen my eldest, Col, properly, since last September when we had to take our lovely beagle to be put down.

I miss him very, very much. He lives with his Fiancée across town now. We haven’t really even been able to celebrate them getting engaged yet. He used to be a carer which worried me massively because of all of the contact he was having with so many people. Thankfully now he has a job as a contact tracer which means he is working from home. That, at least, is a little reassuring.

Bess is plugging away with her schoolwork. We just got her report. In a way I wish I had done what a friend of mine did and requested that they didn’t send it home. Thankfully Bess is a good student and is on course to get very high marks but I don’t really think measuring them in terms of grades is at all helpful right now. Our kids are living something which is unimaginable and we are still using the same way to measure progress? No, no thank you. I don’t care what she is currently getting in Maths or Dance. I want to know she is managing ok with so little social interaction. Is she keeping up friendships that she will need later? Does she have people her age to vent to about being stuck in the house with us oldies?

Is she coping? Are any of us?

Moose is a different breed to be honest. In a lot of ways he appears to prefer lockdown. We have tried to keep everything upbeat as much as possible so it is fun for him but he really likes home school and never complains so I think we are quite lucky really in that respect. We have good support from his teacher. He does miss his friends and I have made sure that he has video calls regularly with his cousin and his best friend. He absolutely loves those chats. Next week his teacher has organised a little Zoom meeting so that her class can all see each other. He is going to love that!

Boy in the snow in a yellow coat

G is working from home and will be for the forseeable future I think. Can anyone actually imagine that we are all going to return to offices after all of this and work like we did before?! I can’t see it. We are getting on better at the moment than I think we ever have. It’s actually really nice. Maybe we are both just too worn out to pick fights? Maybe seeing what the other does all day has stripped out some of the resentment I suspect was bubbling before lockdown happened. He got to escape, I got to stay home. I dunno. Whatever the reason, I like it.

And me?

I have had the biggest change I think. At the beginning of lockdown G was made redundant. With him being the main breadwinner this was problematic to say the least! I decided that it would be best if I took a look online to see what jobs were around and managed to snag a job as a contact tracer within 30 mins of starting to look! That contract ran it’s course and that was that. Luckily my old manager pointed me in the direction of new contracts with them and I got back into it. There I was happily doing that and home schooling Moose until last month when I got a promotion.

I am now working as a Quality Coach and I absolutely love it! I mean, looking forward to going back after a couple of days off love it. The ideal would be that this continues on a permanent work from home basis but who knows. I am still making cake toppers and writing too so for the first time in quite a long time my life feels quite full and a lot if it is things that make me happy!

Working and kids

I am not going to pretend it is all plain sailing. Going from being completely freelance to having structured working hours and attending meetings has taken a bit of getting used to. For me and for my children. Moose said to me a few weeks ago that he wished I didn’t have a job. That stung a little bit to be honest. I need this though, having a regular income and a job I genuinely like doing has done masses for my mental health.

I know it is a little selfish on my part but I don’t want to give that up. It hurts that Moose felt that way but I have stepped up the time we do have so we “do” more. Well, as much as we can do right now I guess. I think it will be ok though. It has to be really.

So at the moment I am working a 40 hour week but making sure that on my days off we are spending time together. I would love to be able to take him out and about again but that will come in time. For now it’s a Scooby Do style repeat of baking, Lego, movies and Minecraft.

For now that seems to be enough and if I can just be enough then I think I am ok with that.




10 Benefits of Board Games

Family games have always been a feature of downtime for us and especially at Christmas when we have lots of time to relax together. We love nothing more than grabbing a board game and having good old fashioned family fun. 

This year has really been the year of the board game. From old favourites to new educational games. It really does feel like we have played them all this year. We have definitely had the time to! 

Now that I have started shopping for Christmas gifts for my family I will definitely be looking at The Works for great board games gifts as well as books! There are so many ways every member of the family can benefit from board games and here are just a few of the best reasons to start playing together

Board games are a great way to unplug

Sometimes you need to reconnect. A great way of doing that is to put away the screens. The complete lack of technology required by most board games makes them a great tool to help bring people together. Not only do you have to sit together to play a game but everyone benefits from the emotional connection of playing together.

Board games give kids an opportunity to teach adults

You can really only teach something if you know it well enough yourself. Let your child teach you how to play a game. Not only will you have fun but it will really help to build their confidence. 

This year for Christmas I have bought Moose a game of Downfall and also Perfection. I love these games from my childhood but he doesn’t need to know that. I plan to let him teach me how to play both of them. 

Board games teach kids how to be (good) losers

There are always going to be hard lessons to learn and not many of us have made it through life without having to lose sometimes. Yes, playing a game of Monopoly together can be tense but learning how to lose is a really important life skill to have. 

Board games promote literacy

Most board games involve reading. Whether that is questions on a card, instructions to learn how to play or something else. There is always something to read. Why not encourage little ones to hone their skills by reading aloud to other players.

Board games encourage teamwork

A massive plus point of board games is that often they are suitable for different ages. Being able to work as a team with others from different age groups is a skill that your children will need over and over again throughout their life.

Board games help with Maths skills

One of our favourite board games this year is a maths based game called Sum Swamp. It is a very simple concept but in order to move around the board you have to do sums. Games like this one are incredibly educational. It’s great to see kids enjoying maths and now we also incorporate sums into older games too. For example, when we play Snakes & Ladders we use the sums dice from the Sum Swamp game. Suddenly Moose has had an easy 30 minutes of Maths with zero effort.  

Board games help kids to understand how others think

Most board games involve tactical thinking. A lot of them cannot be played without thinking ahead. Playing board games together is a great way to show children that not everyone thinks the same way and that’s a lesson that will come in handy over and over again.

Whether it’s by perfecting their poker face or thinking ahead these are excellent skills to have. Games like Chess are classic and are awesome for building on tactical thinking skills.

Board games are a good alternative to time out

Sometimes when children act out it is a sign that they need you. In fact, I would say that sometimes is a bit of an understatement. Of course there are situations where a time out is absolutely appropriate. However, it makes sense that the more you use a particular method of discipline, the less impact it has. 

The next time your children are playing up why not try getting a game out and switching off distractions and just seeing what kind of an effect it has on you all. Most games have a level of structure to them so they act as a great opener for better communication too.

Board games help build the attention span

I think screens are generally a positive thing for us and our children. However. One of the massive downsides is the sheer number of distractions. The result of this is a notable decrease in everyone’s attention span. Not just children, adults too. 

Playing a board game from start to finish without allowing distractions from phones or tv most definitely helps to increase concentration and in turn it will also help to lengthen anybody’s attention span.

I love this Ted talk about the brain benefits of playing games

Back to school – Living Arrows week 37 2020

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”

Each week I like to (try and) link up to a series called Living arrows which is about celebrating childhood. You can find out more here

Can you hear that? Yup, it is the sound of silence and it is bliss!

This weeks photos were both taken this morning (in a rush of course) just before both Bess and Moose left to go to their respective schools and approx 30 minutes after MrG left to go to the office. It has just been me and the dog for the whole day for the first time since April and honestly, I could get used to this!

It feels like we are waiting at the moment though. Not sure for what exactly but just waiting. For normality? For it all to kick off and close down again? I don’t know, just waiting. At least I get some peace and quiet for now though!

I think my lot have gone back quite late compared to some schools. Either way, it was worth the wait.

Looking at these photos and then back at old ones (obviously we do this every year, we have to now we have been doing it so long) it          is astonishing how much Bess especially has grown. I do miss the littler version of my girl – even if she did chop herself a dumb and                dumber style fringe just days before she started reception class at her primary school!

Living Arrows