Creativity is an interesting concept. There is no meter to measure creativity, nor can it be ‘taught’. It is something that is intangible and can only be learnt through experience. Yet, it is one of our most powerful and defining attributes as a species. As creativity is something that is not tangible (we can’t give marks to it) it is most often overlooked as a skill that needs attention.
There are certain activities that can be performed to increase creative thinking in children. These include:
1) Problem-solving – it is very important to develop problem-solving skills at an early age. Problems occur every day and most people respond to them spontaneously, rather than analytically. Children must be taught to think rationally about problems and come up with creative solutions. Problem-solving activities for children should be designed in such a way that multiple solutions are possible and no wrong one exists. When children know they cannot go wrong they tend to come up with better, and more creative, solutions.
2) Theory application – this is where children can apply theoretical knowledge without explicitly being told what to do. Theory application is another important skill that should be developed at an early age. Developing this attribute enables children to improve their creative skills by applying what they already know to obtain a solution.
3) Art – this provides children with an open canvas, where they are encouraged to let their imagination flow where it will. It is amazing to see how creative kids can be when provided with absolute freedom. The ages 1 to 8 are critical in children’s growth and development and they must be carefully utilized to enable them to develop their full creative potential.
4) Reading – with all the modern technologies available to us, reading is often neglected. Unlike the previous generation, this one is hooked on video games, I-pads and all sorts of other gizmos. In order to encourage creativity, we need to engage kids in activities such as simple crosswords, cutting out shapes of animals and reading them simple stories. Fun activities like these are likely to encourage kids to start reading when they reach the appropriate age. Reading opens the mind to realms that children might never have ventured to before and is a fantastic habit to develop the right side of the brain.
How many of these activities do your children indulge themselves in?