Bringing out Creativity in your Child
As parents, it is helpful to ask ourselves if we encourage our children to be creative enough?
We live in a world where technology and media play a huge role, not only in adult’s lives, but in our children’s lives too. Children are exposed to long periods of screen time at an extremely young age. Research has proved that this type of exposure can be harmful to the development of children. It impacts on their creativity.
We have many decades of theory and research in child development that tell us so much about how young children learn. We know that, like children all over the world and throughout time, children need to play. We know that learning in the early years is active; that children learn through direct play and hands-on experiences with people, with materials, and in nature. So fundamentally are we doing enough to encourage children to be creative in their everyday life? The answer is quite possibly ‘no’. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is ever changing; what was relevant yesterday may not be relevant tomorrow. How can we develop and nurture our children, so that they are tapping into and harnessing creative thinking? Critical and creative thinking are vital to activities that require children to think broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.
So how can we encourage our children to be creative? Well firstly, it begins with discipline. Children need structure and routine. They need to be part of the family, they need to be encouraged in their interests. Creativity is not about picking up a pencil and drawing a picture. Rather, it is about what that child is encouraged to do with their time. Creativity is encouraged through experiences they are exposed to and how they are encouraged through conversation to pursue their interests. Children become creative when they are nurtured. Parents can help by taking an active role in developing their passions.
As long as I can remember, my son has wanted to be apaleontologist. He is six years old now and this has been his ambition since he was two years old. I have no idea if he will ever really pursue a career in paleontology, but as a parent I recognised his passion and began to nurture and develop his understanding of dinosaurs through books, programs, live shows, visiting the Natural History Museum in London more times than I care to recount. Organising holidays centered around exploration and visiting dinosaur parks. In time, this exposure started to demonstrate other learning avenues and my son began to draw dinosaurs and write about them. Not only did this lead to him really exploring this topic but it led him to other topics such as Egyptology and learning about the Ancient Roman Empire.
Creativity is not just about the visual, it is also about the problem solving and critical thinking. Creativity infiltrates every aspect of our lives!
Foundation Stage 1 Leader