Creativity is the process of thinking about things in a new light. Creativity allows the mind to explore new possibilities, learn more about its environment, and express thoughts and emotions in meaningful ways.
Businesses today are clamoring for employees with a creative mind. They need people who can streamline their business models. But neither creativity nor its benefits are exclusive to adults.
A creative mind begins developing at an early age. As children develop creative thinking skills, they are able to express themselves in distinct ways. Creativity gives children different ways to solve problems and prevents them from getting stuck in yes-or-no, binary ways of thinking.
Developing creativity at a younger age gives children this important quality early in life and sets them up for success. Parents who work may find it hard to always be present to foster a child’s creativity, but a good childcare facility has daily activities that promote creative thinking and supplement parents’ efforts. Indeed, anyone who takes care of a child needs to understand the importance of fostering creativity in young minds.
If children are allowed to explore and develop their creative side, they will benefit physically, emotionally, and socially. There are a number of ways we can encourage our children to develop creativity in their youth.
Creativity Through Movement
Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. Their bodies are always changing and developing. Kids need to move, play, and manipulate their environment to help them understand the world at large. Hands-on activities promote hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills. They also encourage physical self-expression.
Give kids crayons, paint, paint brushes, and play dough and allow them to create. With these activities, kids begin reinterpreting the world through art. This develops abstract thinking becomes necessary as they grow older.
Another way to help foster a child’s creativity through physical movement is with building. For older children, the use of Legos or other small building blocks can be a positive outlet.
If money is a factor, cardboard boxes provide an alternative to building toys. Creating with and rearranging cardboard boxes can develop the imagination as well as help to fine-tune gross motor skills. Build castles, cathedrals, and forts so your child will learn how to design and work with his or her hands.
For children who thrive in more active environments, look into dance and live theater. Through these art forms, children can express themselves in new and creative methods that value physical energy.
Whatever you choose, encourage children to experience their world by allowing them to move and manipulate their environment. By expressing themselves through movement, children learn how things work at a deeper level.
Creativity as an Outlet for Emotion
As children learn and grow, their feelings begin to manifest themselves in diverse ways. Being newer to the world, children often feel deeper and express emotions more intensely. Show a child different, positive ways to express emotions and you can help that child develop coping skills for life’s ups and downs.
For example, you can encourage angry or sad children to paint their emotions. The use of colors can vividly display what a child is feeling.
Music also invokes a number of emotional reactions. Play different types of music and have your child discuss his or her feelings. You can discuss the similar and contrasting feelings with your child, helping him or her to differentiate between the emotions.
We expect adults to emotionally react appropriately, so we should do our best to prepare children for the positive and negative feelings that come with life. Having creative outlets for both positive and negative emotions helps today’s children become tomorrow’s well-adjusted adults.
Creativity Through Socializing
Today’s children are born into a social, digital world. With the growing use of technology in our day-to-day lives, it is easy to ignore the need for interacting with others. However, children still need to learn to socialize to effectively live in society.
Group play allows children to express their creativity while developing key social skills they’ll use forever. Entering the world of make-believe allows kids to experiment with social conventions and play the roles they will fill later in life.
Put kids in environments that require them to work and play with others. This helps children learn to interact positively—they must solve problems, manage disagreements, and work together to achieve common goals. This sociality is important in their future school and work life.
Creativity and Learning
Most children are naturally creative in some ways. Encouraging children’s natural creative tendencies often goes hand-in-hand with helping them learn. If you notice your child gravitate towards a specific creative outlet, use it as an opportunity to encourage language development and other educational needs.
For instance, many young children love to sing. They combine their favorite words, stories, and songs into a melody of adorable gibberish. For a child like this, exposure to a variety of musical styles encourages musical and verbal creativity. Similarly, children learn the words to songs, books, or TV shows based on their familiarity with them. Associate your children with music, literature, and even TV that will stimulate thought-provoking questions and generate lively conversation.
Another idea is to play different kinds of music or games that can help children to increase their vocabulary. Or you can ask children open-ended questions that force them to explain their thought process. This helps them become accustomed to using the words in their vocabulary and helps them learn new words.
Creativity: A Lifelong Skill
Clearly, there are innumerable ways to encourage children’s creativity. So get creative about it! Remember to use a variety of methods that focus on physical, emotional, social, and educational creativity so your child can flex every creative muscle and find his or her strengths.
If you can’t be with your child 24/7 fostering creativity, don’t worry. When looking for a suitable location for your child’s daytime needs, just make sure the curriculum offered by the facility focuses on helping your child develop creatively. Then, with your combined efforts, you’ll be amazed at the creativity your child exhibits.