Encouraging Creativity with our Children

If your child is a daydreamer, has unusual ideas when at play, has ‘out of the box’ ideas, orloves designing and performing? There is a strong chance he or she is creatively gifted.

Encouraging Creativity with our Children

Creative people are potentially our future innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs

What is Creativity?

Creativity is ‘novel ideas that are valued by our society’. Creative people have a tendency togenerate ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that could be used to solve problems, entertain,and discover different ways to improve our ways of living. Creative minds created transport,electricity, cities, fashion, new recipes, art, and entertainment. Without creative minds wewould not have our scientists, engineers, designers, chefs, architects, artists and performers.

The creative thinker is one who is open to new ideas, elaborates on them, refuses to give up onthem, and is prepared to take risks. It is the production of these creative ideas that requiresnot only creative thought but also innovation. Innovation is an important factor of creativitybecause innovation emphasises the practicality of the new idea and, very importantly, theability to sell the idea or the new product. So, a student with the potential to be creativelygifted requires encouragement and support to persevere with the development of their creativeproduct.

According to James C. Kaufman, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University ofConnecticut, “Creative people are more likely to start their own companies, to be happy intheir jobs, to be successful in business.” And if that’s not enough, they also tendto be, says Kaufman, “resilient, happier, in better moods. It’s such a positivething.”

Luckily, cultivating creativity in our kids can be easy. Joshua Glenn, co-author of Unbored: TheEssential Field Guide to Serious Fun, recommends:

  • present kids with an opportunity
  • then get out of their way

Because, creativity is stimulated by what kids naturally do anyway: they ask questions, explore,invent, daydream, improvise, make believe, perform, and even (or especially) make mistakes.“As long as you‘re encouraging them to do something creative, encouraging theprocess rather than just the final product, it’s kind of hard to go wrong,” Joshua’sPhilosophy: “You don’t want to be the over-involved parent on the one hand or theslacker parent on the other. Creativity is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Ifyou do the prep work but then leave your kids alone, creativity will happen.”

Two of his Creative Tips:

  • Set it up. Keep a mental list of things the kids need for their pursuits. Have we got enoughpaper? Are there batteries in the flash light? Are the bike tires pumped up? Monitor thoseneeds and that’s all you have to do.“The kids will gravitate toward the things you’ve prepared,”says Joshua.
  • Put limits on TV and screen time to strong force kids into the opportunity zone.

You can support the potential creativity of your children by:

  • providing a suitable space
  • make it colourful
  • keep a good supply of paper, colours, dress ups, Lego. Add to the supply according to theirinterests
  • allow special time for them to show you what they have invented or watch their performances
  • and... encourage