Creative Child

10 Children's Books that Inspire Creativity

by Rebecca Eanes

Creativity is an integral part of health and happiness. Though many people assume creativity is something you’re either born with or not, it’s actually a skill that we can teach all children, and doing so has many benefits. Creativity is good for emotional health. It acts as a buffer against stress, helps children be more flexible and better problem-solvers, and allows free expression.

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To Teach and Nurture Creativity:

Provide your child with creative materials.

Give your child access to canvases, paints, drawing pads, clay, or a child’s camera to spark a love for artistic expression.


Stand back and let them do it their way.

Nothing kills creativity as quickly as “you’re not doing that right.” Let them paint the sky green and the grass blue. A close-up photo of a rock? Sure. Print it out and display it proudly. Allow them freedom to express themselves and watch them soar!


Give them time to be free.

If every hour of their day is packed with scheduled activities, there won’t be time to nurture creativity. Let them be bored with nothing to do. Robert Pirsig said, “Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity.”

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Limit screen time.

When children become addicted to the TV or iPad, it’s can be very difficult to get them away from the screens and out into nature or the art box. Watching too much leaves little time for creative play and out-of-the-box thinking.


Encourage them to read.

Reading has many perks, including improving vocabulary and concentration. It also helps your child’s imagination, so reading books that spark creativity is doubly wonderful! Below are 10 books to inspire creativity.


  1. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. This is a book about the creative spirit in all of us.
  2. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg is a book that teaches children this valuable lesson: It’s OK to make mistakes!
  3. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. This story of a girl who fails often but doesn’t give up on creating her most magnificent thing will inspire your child to keep trying!
  4. Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty teaches children that you only truly fail if you quit.
  5. If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen. Driving along with his dad, a boy imagines a dream car he’d like to build. This one is high on creativity and big on rhyming fun!
  6. Not a Box by Antionette Portis is a reminder of the great depths of children’s imaginations. A box is just a box, unless it’s not a box!
  7. What Do You Do with an Idea by Kobi Yamada is a New York Times Bestseller. It’s a story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps bring it into the world.
  8. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is another NYT bestselling book. Duncan’s crayons have had enough. They quit! How can Duncan get them back to doing what they do best?
  9. Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds. From this award-winning author comes a gentle, playful reminder that if we keep our hearts open and look beyond the expected, creative inspiration will come.
  10. My Think-a-ma-jink by Dave Whamond. Jack is not at all excited about his sixth birthday - that is until he receives a bizarre contraption from his uncle. With this gadget, anything is possible!
  11. Henri’s Scissors by Jeanette Winter is a moving and inspirational picture book about a great artist’s creative process.


Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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