Fostering Creativity in Young Children
What is ‘Creativity’?
Creativity is the ability to develop and express ourselves and our ideas in new ways.
Though every child is born creative and imaginative, this capacity can be restrained, if they do not have the space and freedom to behave imaginatively and release their creative energy. They need opportunities and materials that can give them creative experiences. In fact, creative expression plays a key role in a child's emotional development and research shows that it is also a key component of their overall health and happiness. Creativity is not, however, limited to artistic and musical expressions, it is also essential for science, math, and other subjects.
There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves openly and freely. The ability to be creative, to create something from personal feelings and experiences, can nurture children's emotional health.
Encouraging children to try out new things is a crucial factor in their intellectual, physical and emotional growth.
There are many things that parents and teachers can do to nurture children’s creativity:
Give them the freedom to think, to feel and to express. Children tend to be more creative when parents give their children a great deal of freedom.
Respect their imagination and fantasies. Believe in their uniqueness: it builds their confidence in being original.
Emotional Detachment from the Outcome:
Detach yourself from the outcomes of their creative work. Their creative endeavours are theirs, so let them take pride in their own work.
Based on Values Not Rules:
Too many rules are stifling to creativity. But, you can base your actions on what you value, and let your children decide their behaviour according to those values.
"Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people." (Leo Burnett)
Children are naturally curious: encourage their inquisitiveness and curiosity.
Learning new skills:
Give your children every opportunity to develop new interests, experience new things, and build new skills. Creativity breeds more creativity.
Encourage your children to create stories on their own and make drawings to go with the stories.
Freedom to make mistakes:
Help children learn to solve problems in creative ways by giving them the freedom to make mistakes and by respecting their ideas.
Provide the resources they need for creative expression:
The key resource here is time. Give them a lot of time for unstructured, child-directed, imaginative play.
Celebrate innovation and creativity.
Cover your walls with their art and their other creative expressions.
Creativity is an essential part of the experience of being human. All of us have the potential to be creative in what we do. When we are creative we let go of fears and we rise up to challenges.
It is within each of our grasps.
It is within each of us waiting to be discovered.
Let your children nurture a lifetime of creativity!
If more adults would allow their children to create more we would have a society where people are more competent, self-confident and creative.