“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein
What is Creativity?
Most of us think that creativity is an inborn talent, which means that either children have it or don’t have it. But this is not true. Creativity is more a skill than an inborn talent and it is the responsibility of the parents and the teachers to nurture creativity within the children in their care by giving them opportunities and outlets to express their creativity (Durairaj. A. CEO and Co-founder of Flinto Class).
It is important as adults to realise that children have the ability to address a problem in many different ways. We need to understand that young children are willing to take risks, have no qualms about making mistakes and they learn through experimenting.
Importance of Creative Thinking Skills
Creative thinking enables children to reason better. Giving children challenging activities, allowing them to be more flexible in their thinking process and provoking them to think out of the box, will always yield long-term benefits to them.
“Creativity is the key to success; be it in any field of work or in any organisation”.
We should not limit creativity to artistic or musical expression, but we should be aware that it is needed in diverse areas like mathematics, linguistics, spatial and social expression and emotional intelligence. In Presidency,in addition to the curriculum, children are also given a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) challenge where they have a chance to tackle real-world problems through various tasks.
In today’s technologically addictive world are children given the freedom to express themselves creatively?
How can we encourage creativity and creative thinking at home ?
Besides Journal writing which all our children are doing, I will outline some simple ways where you as parents can encourage and help your children in expressing their creativity
- Tap on their curiosity and encourage children to question
Explaining things patiently to children, encouraging them to be curious by asking them questions that will make them think (instead of giving them answers all the time),involving children in meaningful discussions and creating a sense of wonder will enhance their imaginative skills and encourage them to question and come out with solutions to small problems.
- Provide ample opportunities and keep them engaged always
Children should be given ample opportunities and challenges to express all forms of intelligence including creative intelligence. Encourage your children to move towards what they are naturally good at. This will give you insight and assist you in planning better for them. Allow them to work in their own time and space – do not hurry them. Blocks, cardboard boxes, and simple other play-based learning things will fire up their imagination and creativity. Do allow them to talk about what and why they built something in a certain way. Children should be engaged in creative games and other activities that will help them think out of the box.
- Explain that there are multiple ways to look at problems
You have to help your child understand that there are always various ways to solve a problem. Children can be very adamant and sometimes may not see things from another’s perspective. It is important for you, parents, to make time to listen to and talk to your children, inorder to understand things from their perspective. When we do this, our children will be motivated to express their creativity, emotions and feelings without any fear or inhibition.
- Try not to reward your child for his/her creativity
If you are tempted to reward your child for every creative activity, you may be hindering the process of creative development. Children are innately motivated to be creative, so there is no need to motivate them with external incentives and rewards. Instead allow a bit of flexibility when they express their thoughts and ideas and be generous in praising them.
We as Parents and Educators have to ensure that we are preparing the children of today for the future of tomorrow.