Creativity is most often associated with the Arts but did you know anybody and everybody is creative to some extent? Creativity is not simply the talent to execute some artistic skill, but a thought process. Artistic talent is simply a tool to express creativity… and it is only one in a plethora! Creativity is displayed in many different ways. It can be used to create something entirely original and unique, put to work in using old concepts in new context, or called upon to adapt already existing ideas into something a little more relevant. It can be summoned out of boredom, necessity, or simply for the sake of expression.
Children are naturally masters of creativity. They do not automatically have a set vision of how the world should be. They explore their way through each day and learn through stretching themselves out into their environments, reaching further where they are not impeded and withdrawing where they find it is too difficult to proceed. Parents can help their children discover paths to creativity in many different ways. We thought you might be interested in a few of the things that we have discovered to be great creativity builders and avenues to creative living. (…not in any particular order.)
1. Let your children be bored. We know, this is a pain in the neck, but forcing your child to think, dream, and invent ways to entertain themselves will help your child develop thought patterns that will improve the quality of his or her life.
2. Raise readers! Reading encourages children to think in many different ways and many hours of creative play can be invented around the contents of one book!
3. Encourage your children to play. Creative play is an excellent platform for learning and vital in the development of healthy, happy, children.
4. Hold off critiquing the ‘artwork’ or ‘artistic expressions’ of younger children (preadolescence). Have your children explain their work to you instead of guessing what they are showing you. Point out concepts that your child has executed correctly, not what he or she has done wrong. Ex: Wow, your drawing is perfectly balanced! How did you think to add that bird up there? You did a great job of filling up your whole page and I love your use of contrasting colors!
5. Push your child to think of ‘one more’… one more way to draw a cat, one more word that rhymes with moose, one more way to move across the room. Artists draw multiple sketches, called thumbnails, to help them design a finished piece and it is necessary to push passed the obvious idea to be able to produce interesting work.
6. Be creative yourself! Come on, we know you’ve got it in you! Think of a dinner that your family loves and present it in a new way… Think of a fun car game and change one thing about it… Wear an article of clothing in a way it was not intended to be worn… Write a poem, choose new colors for your washroom, draw something… Anything that gives birth to new thought will do! Creativity breeds creativity!