Teaching children to be resourceful is important for their independence and creativity. Children who are resourceful can make confident decisions and are motivated to problem solve. Teach your children to be resourceful by allowing them to think on their own, to try new things and by providing positive encouragement. Activities that describe resourcefulness to children help parents discuss with the child how to make good decisions and how to solve everyday problems.
Making collages with your child is one way you can begin to discuss and explain resourcefulness with him. Provide a flat work surface and a large poster board. Assemble a range of materials and allow your child to choose which to use and how to arrange and glue the items. By allowing him to make decisions and create his own art, you are giving him the opportunity to figure out how materials can be used to create pictures and designs. Ask your child questions such as "What could you use to make hair for the person you are creating?" rather than suggesting that he use yarn for hair. Allow your child to decide which materials can be used to represent what he is trying to create.
Turn your recycling routine in to a fun activity. Teach your child to be resourceful with materials that can be recycled rather than throwing them away. Collecting cans and turning them in for money teaches resourcefulness and provides your child with some pocket money. Save plastic containers such as butter tubs, milk jugs and yoghurt cups and ask your child if he can think of any uses for them around the house. He may decide that the cups can be used to hold pencils on his desk or the butter tub can be used to store homemade play dough or even leftovers.
You can also create projects with the containers. Allow your child to decorate them with stickers, or make a milk-jug bird feeder. Make your own wrapping paper by decorating brown paper bags from the grocery store. Remember to allow your child to come up with ideas on how to recycle on his own as well.
Clean out your child's closet and toy box, and have him help decide what items he no longer needs. Suggest to your child that someone else may get use out of these items, and have your child decide where to donate the items. You may even then discuss with your child that he could take some items to a consignment store or second-hand shop, and get store credit to pick new items for himself. By showing your child that you don't necessarily have to spend full price on items, you encourage them to look for ways to be resourceful with their money as well as their belongings and materials.
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