Creative Kids: Fostering Creativity in Children

All of us have an innate desire to be creative. Children learn through play, discovery and exploration. They want to naturally extend learning activities, manipulate and create. But through time, discouragement, lack of opportunity and too much screen time, we lose our drive to be creative and lack the confidence and focus. How often do you think, or hear someone say, “Kids can’t think for themselves anymore.” Let’s provide amble opportunities for children to think, explore, extend and create. Here’s why and how:



BENEFITS OF CREATIVE PLAY

  • Ability to problem solve
  • Better able to cope with challenges and difficult situations
  • Higher self-esteem, confidence, self-fulfillment and happiness
  • Fosters great creators: writers, artists, scientists, innovators, leaders, ie. the keys to a successful society

TOP 10 WAYS TO KEEP KIDS CREATIVE

1. READING, WRITING, LIBRARIES, STORYTELLING 
“Creativity is manifested in so many ways – crafts are the functional manifestation and paintings are the visual. Stories are our creativity represented in words. Telling stories takes us out of our real life experiences to imagine something that could be. They allow children to think beyond the concrete. So we tell a lot of stories and start with good books.” Kim Rowe, Little Stories

2. PRETEND IMAGINATIVE FANTASY DRAMATIC PLAY 
Children are learning important social, cognitive and emotional skills during Imaginary, Pretend or Fantasy Play. This open-ended play promotes social skills, develops language and cognitive skills, increases intellect, supports emotional development and builds self confidence, allowing for exploration of a child’s feelings as they gain a sense of control. Lev Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist, believed that dramatic play was the training ground where children learned to regulate themselves and to conquer their own unruly minds. When children follow the rules of make-believe and push one another to follow those rules, they develop important habits of self-control. In other words: Children can learn SELF-CONTROL and to THINK while participating in pretend play! It’s a win-win!
”I just can’t say it enough – having fewer toys leads to better play. When children are not distracted by all of the toy chaos, they can focus on deeper play experiences and begin to really tap into their own creativity and imagination… Besides having fewer toys, having good toys makes all of the difference. Good toys don’t do much on their own. They don’t have push buttons or a digitized voice. Instead, they require your child to do all of the steering, soaring, sautéing, stacking, and singing. Good toys can be played with a million different ways which allows for endless creative options.” Kim Rowe, Little Stories

 4. GAMES, PLAY AND ART TO PROMOTE CREATIVE THINKING 
Young children are eager learners. But due to their limited language, they learn more from hands-on experiences rather than from verbal instruction. They learn by moving, touching, exploring, discovering — using their five senses and movement as they learn about their expanding world. The process of making an art product can be of great interest to a young child. Children enjoy touching different textures and exploring materials as well as putting together and taking apart objects to create something unique – or just for the joy of exploring and changing something. 

5. QUIET TIME
Don’t you love to “hear” quietness? Then the mind can soar to anywhere the imagination will take it.

6. JUST UNPLUG! 
Just do it! Unplug and communicate, play, and create with the most important people in your life – your little ones – whose imaginations are limitless and fascinating.

7. PLAY SPACE 

Play Spaces can be indoors or outdoors – a place where a child feels comfortable to relax, rest, and read – or to move, discover, explore and create.

8. NATURE 
“Direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development—physical, emotional, and spiritual. What’s more, nature is a potent therapy for depression, obesity, and ADD. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Even creativity is stimulated by childhood experiences in nature.” Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.

9. SCIENCE 

Mommy with Selective Memory

Why do kids love science? It makes learning come alive! It’s all about discovery that makes science so appealing. It is important to focus activities for young children on things they can see, hear, touch, taste, smell and manipulate. Children are naturally curious and love to explore using their imagination to make substances change form, color, shape, scent and texture. With science and sensory activities, children learn by finding answers to their many questions including: Why, how, when, where and what happens? 
 

10. MUSIC 
Not only are children having fun while learning music, but songs and simple musical instruments build a child’s memory, vocabulary, listening comprehension, resourcefulness, cooperation, patterning (reading and math) and creativity.


Image from Lasso the Moon

Ask 3 Simple Questions:

  • What would happen if?
  • Is there a better way?
  • What do you think?

This post was inspired by This Reading Mama and her School’s Out! Series. Just click on the link to find more Top 10 Series by 25+ Kid Bloggers.


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