Encouraging Creativity in the Child
A young child’s world is one of imagination and almost magical. Research shows that for most children, creativity reaches a peak around the age of six. The onset of formal schooling and excessive stress on conformity to rules suppresses this creativity. Supporting and encouraging a child’s creativity in preschool sets the stage to foster its continued development in the years beyond.
By the age of three children develop the ability to use symbols and representational thought (e.g., have one thing — like a word, drawing, or item) to represent something else (e.g., like the letters “apple,” or picture of an apple, or a round red ball all representing an actual apple). A child starts placing blocks in an arrangement or scribble lines on a paper to describe an object. Fine motor skills begin to develop enough to control writing, manage to hold his plate, or manipulate things in his space with more precision.
With these new skills, children’s imagination is boundless! Thus, it is the perfect time to support the development of creativity. When tapped properly, this creative drive can help them learn and develop strong intellectual capability across many subjects. Creativity and creative problem solving are more than art. Creativity is thinking, predicting, imagining, and exploring solutions without worrying about being right or wrong.What can you do as a parent or a teacher?
1. Ask a child open-ended questions that have no right or wrong answer. Encourage her to tell you why he or she thinks like that. For example, “What could happen if a tree can talk?” Accept any answer as “a good answer.” It is tough for an adult to answer endless questions but encourage your child to ask questions always.
2. Explore the world with him and through his eyes. Provide as many different experiences to build a solid foundation of knowledge. For example, a trip to a museum, zoo, or park is a new experience. Even a visit to the local supermarket is a rewarding experience for a child. And explore different neighborhoods in your town).
3. Encourage a Child to create, what we think is a mess is his imagination coming to life. Send him on trips around the house or school to find things of one color, smooth or rough objects, let him explore the smell of fruits and vegetables.
4. Invite them to tell innovative stories based on what you read to them or what has gone on in school. It enhances their cognitive skills and expression
5. Encourage Movement-based activities. For example, you can ask the child to showhow they would be when sad, angry or joyful, imitate the walk of an animal, or make a toy move the way an animal would.
Always pay attention to the process and not the final product. Ask your child to tell you more about whatever they create. Ask for what they discovered, notice some details, and engage in a talk. Positive reassurance enhances self-esteem and encourages creativity.
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