How to develop Creativity in a child!
When we hear “Creativity”, what actually pops out of our minds? Do we relate to all time great artists like Michaelangelo, Picasso or some mind boggling musicians as Madonna , Mozart or think of the fantasies of Rudyard Kipling , J.K Rowling, which made reading all the more amazing during childhood? Perhaps, we observe creativity as a very far sighted word with the belief that it is an innate quality and all of us cannot achieve that. We rather forget to see that “CREATIVITY” inside us and our kids.
Creativity is not rare, though it cannot be taught, but we can be exposed to creative surroundings to nurture that innate seed into a fully grown tree. Creativity is just like joining the dots, what vary is how we see at the dots and the environment in which we are to see them differently.
Necessity : Decline of Creativity in children!
There was a major study in 2011, which came out with the term “Creativity Crisis“. It indicated that the “creative thinking is declining over time among Americans of all ages, especially in kindergarten through third grade.” And the major impact is due to environmental changes at home, which is more influential compared to school for children. A hush hush lifestyle, more emphasis on studies and structured plays, more time to electronic gadgets, has basically led to decline in the naive creativity of a child. And, I see, that’s what, we are doing, as parents! Efforts to encourage creativity should begin max by 2years for a child.
Dorothy Parker rightly said “Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye”!
It comes when we see things from a different angle, and children are perfect in that. If Children, right from being a preschooler are given more of experiential learning, ample opportunities to explore, an environment to delve into creative side, their innate tendencies will become more robust. They will slowly have a natural bend towards their creative, logical side.
Ways to develop Creativity & Creative Play in Children :
Drama, Dance, Music :
Often Drama, arts are considered unimportant and secondary when it comes to a child’s development. We think of getting a child enrol into cricket club rather than Drama or Story telling or Arts class. But we are unaware that these activities boost up a child’s imagination. These activities are must for cognitive, logical development of a brain, which is the basis of Creativity and Imagination”. They help kids in problem solving, critical thinking, team work. These activities allow children to think, imagine, create and then perform. And these skills when nurtured while budding, are sure to grow better, wherein a child can relate their problems in real world and find their own logical solutions. Kids who are into Drama, dance, music are more compassionate and firm thinkers.
Related Read : Importance of Drama for kids
Related Read : Importance of Music for kids
Cutting , Painting, Drawing, Craft :
This needs to be the creative start for a child, wherein cutting, drawing, crafts, all helps in their Motor development.
When my 2.5 year old started using scissor, many of my neighbours questioned on it. Cutting, use of scissor, is a great way to help advance a child’s Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. [What we need is – be Careful and nothing else].
As kids advance in their lives, these activities furnish as a base to paint out their emotions, give an expression to their thoughts. And this expression can happen only, if children are exposed to painting, drawing, crafts from an early age. Children usually don’t have that vocabulary to illustrate their feelings. And painting is a perfect medium to help them portray their ups and downs, their thoughts and express the unexpressed. These activities strengthen the emotional skills of a child.
Related Read : How to introduce Drawing & Painting for Toddlers
Picture Reading, Story Books Reading :
This is one of the most alluring way to ignite the creative bend of a child. Since reading with beautiful picture illustrations not just promotes intellectual and cognitive skills, but also allows them to raise their imaginations and develop a beautiful world of their own. When kids club these imaginations of story reading with drawing, you can be proud of their enhanced creativity. Drawing what they read helps in better expression.
Related Read : Why is reading must for a Child
Related Read : Best Storybooks for children to read
Story telling :
I’m yet to cover the “magic of Story telling” from my experiences with my child on blog, but let me share the benefits I have felt as a mom. Though, we might not intend to tell a story to our child, I have been story telling my son since he was 1.5years. And till date, when he is 3.5years now, I ensure to tell him one story every day, mostly before going to the bed.
The reason is simple, I loved stories when my mom used to tell me and so does every child. It helps in instilling a calmness and compassionate feel in kids. Since it helps kids to connect with the character’s, ensure that your story has some moral/value which you intend to inculcate in your child. With the required expressions and vice modulations, story telling becomes all the more interesting. It help kids in their improving their linguistic and listening skills. When kids question you of their imaginations while narrating, you can sense that their skills are broadening.
Children use these imaginative and valuable skills in their everyday lives, to imitate, re-create and enhance their horizons.
Play Dough, Kinetic Sand, Slime :
Its a fun, its a messy fun, let me be true!
According to Sally Fitzgerald, a senior therapist, providing opportunities for children to actively use their senses as they explore their world through ‘sensory play’, is crucial. It has a great role in brain development, as it helps to build nerve connections in the brain pathways.
And Play dough/ Kinetic sand are major activities which boost up this sensory play. It’s an old traditional sensory play which is very engaging, safe and a vent to creative exploration. Kids can roll, knead, sculpt and mould clay vis-à-vis their imagination while strengthening their muscles. While Kinetic sand also results in relaxation and calmness while fostering imaginations of a child. These sensory activities are must for kids with special abilities as well.
Related Read : Sensory fun play for kids
Fun with lego , STEM toys :
Unstructured Lego to be used for “free-build” is the right way to foster creativity in a child. Forget using the pre defined booklet instructions on the Lego, but use your own imaginative skills to build “anything” with the blocks in the Lego Kit.
We’re taught to follow the instructions, learn one right answer, and this is what curbs the innate creativity of a child. Standardising education never leads to quality development.
And that is why using unstructured Lego blocks, STEM toys, helps in warming up the brain to switch on that creative bulb!
“I was on cloud nine when my son made Army Tanker out of Lego’s and he came explaining me what it was and why Army personnel used them.” Blocks can give life to the imaginations!
And yes, let’s not forget the role of Engaging worksheets & Free Play. Give kids their “free play” time. Just observe them, but don’t confront them every minute for do’s and don’ts. Give them creative worksheets with Puzzles, and real life things to help them with concepts rather than believing in rote and standard ways of learning!
Stay Creative, it is contagious, Pass it On!