We live in interesting times. Children are often over-scheduled in the best of times and now with schools closed, children of all ages have had dramatic changes to their schedules. This may be a time for your family to make some changes. It is definitely a time for creativity to thrive!
Well-meaning schools, teachers, parents, and even older children themselves, often try to force creativity. They schedule art lessons, music lessons, and classes. Don't get me wrong, these activities are good and give a child skills, open up new creative channels, and reinforce the lesson that with practice you can always improve your skills. But, self driven creativity often comes out of reflection and boredom.
With our busy schedules many children don't have the time to reflect on things they've learned, never mind the time to mentally process new ideas and play around with creative expression. Even preschoolers should have time to create without the influence of adults showing them how to do everything.
Make sure your child has time without screens or instructions, to create. Can you set up a small space with art supplies that your child can safely use alone? Make it a little spot that's easy to clean up. Can it be a place you can monitor from a distance so your child can feel free to explore? The same can be done with a few simple musical instruments. At first your child may ask for guidance, just give enough to help your child get started and see where your child goes from there. Creative alone time can become a habit.
I will break my screen rule now and tell you that I know a 5-year-old who is a prolific story teller. He knows how to turn on an iPad and record his stories. For him the iPad is the right tool for the creative job. He will also draw his stories and then dictate the words to an adult.
Creativity is a process that does not need to have an end result. For preschoolers playing with natural objects in water can be a truly creative exploration. Check out this former post for ideas...