Put their talents to the (con)test
When parents think of healthy competition, they usually think of sports. But creative activities can also generate the benefits of competition, such as taking risks, working hard toward a goal against a deadline, earning recognition for accomplishments and learning to deal with disappointment when the limelight shines somewhere else. Contests are as important to creative professionals (think of performing arts auditions and literary prizes) as they are to athletes. By entering creative contests now, your child is already stepping onto the path of a working artist. But of course, competition can also be a way to spark new ideas and projects just for the fun of it.
Grocery stores, restaurants and local museums often host coloring contests for younger kids. Check your local library and parks department for other onetime contests. But it takes a certain amount of serendipity to stumble across the right contest at the right time. We’ve rounded up a list of annual and recurring contests to help you plan ahead.