The adage that children are sponges is valid to a certain degree. It is more important to take into account the aspects to which a child is not a sponge, but rather a developing human that learns fastest and develops quicker with inspiration. Thus, inspiring a child is easily by linking action with their interest.
There are a multitude of ways to go about accomplishing exactly this. One can lead by example. Secondly, one can provide incentive. Thirdly, one can provide encouragement (to the child). Fourthly, one can honor their individualism. Evidently, these methods can be combined and mixed to mold creativity within a child. When it comes to leading by example, this is fairly self-explanatory, but has deeper meaning. The self-explanatory facet of the method is that children are, sometimes, similar to sponges. They will pick up what they see before them and imitate it. The deeper meaning is that children need role models in their lives, and often carry a deep, almost reverent deference and love for the close role models in their lives. As a result, kids will follow what their role model does or will imitate their role model or do what their role model says out of deference and love for that respective role model.
Incentives often can inspire a child to action. The “action” variegates greatly. It could be as simple as doing a chore and taking pleasure in completing it. It could be as complex (for the child) as making a project like a craft or painting a canvas. It could be in between like running around outside with a friend and having a fun time. The inspiration comes by incentive. The chore could not just be a chore, but a game in which you are playing with the child. You could also say that you are going to play hide-and-go-seek with the child after they complete their task. The painting of a canvas could be splashing of paint on a canvas and the incentive of being allowed to make a mess. Running around outside could be done with waterguns, rather than routine exercise or the boring, overused swing.
Providing encouragement to children is critical. You could encourage a child that they are doing a great job running around, or they are a young Picasso after they paint their first painting. A principle that goes hand in hand with this is the method of respecting their individualism. The child may not be the next Picasso, but that is irrelevant. The painting is good because they made it. It was their original style that you are complimenting.
To zoom in on activities, kids love to build things. Showing a child some pictures of architecture may be the impetus to a young one being inspired to play with blocks and build small buildings. Incentives like a small sweet might also spark their interest in building blocks, provided you say that building a building will warrant a subsequent sweet. You can also inspire them by example. A child might be unwilling to build a building. However, if an adult builds a building, the child may copy the adult’s actions either by fascination or by the general interest in impressing the adult, which is something many children want to do.