Being creative has many advantages. It is beneficial for all to develop the creative side of our personality, even more so for children. Being creative does not mean you have to be Pablo Picasso, a star musician, or that you transform everything you do into a masterpiece. Everyone can develop their own creativity without being an artist. A person who has learned to be more creative will find conflict resolution to be easier. Finding solutions, expressing one self, self-confidence, and exploring and finding new ideas are second nature. Just like certain adults, some children are afraid to use creativity in their daily activities. Some do not know how to do so.
Creativity should not be associated only to art. It should be present in everything we do. Here are a few tricks to stimulate creativity in children and therefore enrich their days.
Tricks and advice
- Offer a wide range of material and be sure to have enough for everyone. Select toys which offer several possibilities. Children should never be limited to use toys a certain way. They must be able to give a toy whatever function they imagine. For example, a plastic bowl may be a hat, a basket, a drum, a bed for small animals, etc. To explore all these options, children must be given sufficient time to play.
- Observe children at play. Watch their movements, their ideas, anticipate what they want or would like to do. To do this, sit in a spot which makes it easy to observe them without disturbing their play. Find additional material to encourage their ideas and allow them to elaborate their games further as per your observations. Keep your interventions brief. Participate in their game only at their request.
- Beware of models which are to be copied. Their widespread use can discourage creativity. Evaluate their use and children's personalities. Models, when used correctly, can also set the stage for many learning opportunities. Do not forget to plan periods for children to create as they wish. For example, spread large sheets of paper on the floor and provide children with crayons. You may play music for added inspiration.
- Since we are often models for children, it is important we develop our own creativity. Show children the benefits of creativity in your own life. This will encourage children to do the same. Here are a few ways to demonstrate our creativity: create decorative elements with recycled material, change the setup of the daycare on a regular basis, wear costumes, and invent new characters... You do not have to be a comedian or good at drawing, there are so many different ways to adapt creativity to your capacities and personality.
- Encourage children to use their imagination. Educational outings, books, and songs are all great sources of inspiration which lead to new ideas and situations.
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