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Friday, December 15, 2017

Creativity in Children by Trisha Roberts

Who doesn’t want to be creative?  Or at least thought of as creative?  How does creativity develop?  How can we inspire a creative spirit in our children?
First, let’s look at what creativity is NOT.

Creativity is not a license for doing anything you want!  To let a child destroy a toy by playing with it in a “creative” way is not building creativity, it is teaching disrespect for property.

For example, if a child has a musical instrument, they can create and play wonderful melodies and harmonies, experimenting with octaves and chords and interludes.  They should not be bound by only playing music composed by others. But to let that child use their trombone for a golf club or their flute as a baseball bat would be destructive, not creative.

A Trombone "Baseball Bat"--A Thousand Times NO!

Or would anyone consider letting their child use their 8-week old puppy like a chair?  Of course not! Is it pretend play?  Yes, but it would be hurtful, possibly maiming to the puppy.

I have seen children destroy toys and parents excuse their behavior with, “Well, it’s their toy, they can do with it what they want.” Or “I don’t want to stifle their creativity.  Let them play the way they want to play.”  

This is not a way to develop maturity and respect for property.  It is not being creative.  It is giving license to do whatever a child wants without repercussions and is actually “sanctioning” such behavior by labeling it ‘creative’.  Think of the thousands of dollars spent on cleaning up graffiti!  Creative art is a wonderful thing, but marking or painting property without the property owner's permission is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Creativity is defined by Webster as, “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.

Practical ways to help children play and think more creatively include:

  • Using the starter phrase, “What if…….” And letting children think of new and different ways to end a story, imagine a different world, use an item uniquely.
What if dogs could fly?
What if you were president for a day?
What if you had a magic wand?
What if the Three Bears adopted Goldilocks?
  • Role Play
  • Have children close their eyes when you read to a new book and imagine the story for themselves rather than look at the pictures.  Let them describe what they “see”.
  • Place a variety of household items in a box.  Let children pick an item and then think of a new way to use that object.
  • Use a storyboard, action figures, stuffed animals, etc. to create a story.

A quote I found on the internet states, “If there's one thing that distinguishes highly creative people from others, it's the ability to see possibilities where others don't — or, in other words, vision. Many great artists and writers have said that creativity is simply the ability to connect the dots that others might never think to connect.                 Mar 4, 2014

Creative people are adaptive, think “outside the box”, and are resourceful, persistent (think of Thomas Edison and his multiple trials before getting the light bulb to work!).  They generate lots of ideas (brainstorm), blend ideas, explore unorthodox solutions.

Let’s raise a generation of children who are mature and respectful but at the same time able to look at problems and generate solutions in a fresh, innovative way.

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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