People sometimes assume that creativity is an inborn talent. That you have it or you don’t. Children are born curious, children are born with an inclination to create, but creativity is actually a skill we cultivate. And that is great news! Since creativity is the greatest indicator for life success then the idea that we can foster this in our children is phenomenal!
Here are a few tips on how
No. 1: Let’s begin with the less messy side of things
Be supportive, listen when children have their own ways of solving a problem and when they exhibit divergent thought. Let them try the solution out. Even better if they find a solution that does work, challenge them to find another way of solving that same problem.
No.2: Allowing discomfort
Limit screen time. Give them time to be bored, to be able to find those solutions to their boredom. Let them fail. I know, a really hard one. But if we are constantly doing for them—they learn that others can always do it better. Let them find the problem by failing and then the solution by creating. If the frustration levels get too high, scaffold a bit, just like scaffolding on a building, add supports a little at a time till they have it. Could be as simple as thinking aloud about a way you saw “someone” solve the a similar problem.
No. 3: Observe and experience creativity of others
Read fairy tales, read fiction and non-fiction alike with your children…let them see creativity at work. Share experiences that display others creativity and then try something out at home that inspired them. Think museums, architecture, dance, theatre, but it is not limited to the arts.
No. 4: Time, space and materials
A key resource here is time, not your time, but down time for children, time for unstructured play, self directed, imaginative play. Another resource is space (does not have to be a large space), allowing them a space for mess whether in the art supply form or building area, or just play space.
No. 5: Practice
Practice generating ideas with children, think out loud with them about what you’re creating, or if you feel lacking in this area the creativity of others. “I wonder how they created that, what supplies would they need?” Also utilizing time like breakfast to just brainstorm new ideas for experiences or questions about the way things work and support those with a trip to the library, a google search, or grabbing a couple of supplies at the store next time.
Creativity is really just asking questions or seeing a problem or a need and devising a plan to fill that need, answer that question, or solve that problem. In addition, creativity and creation is bringing something together in tangible presence or in our minds that was not there before and it is a human attribute we all possess—the difference is like in all skills and strengths . . . how often are we exercising it?
So . . . go exercise!
Author: AshLee Winterrose, Teacher and Hideaboo Co-Founder