A resource for parents/ carers of young children. (3-7 ish)
Download resource at the bottom of this page!
I very much appreciate that the current situation has created new challenges for all of us. I’m sure you will have all been creative coming up with new ideas to get through the day and adjusting to having your children around more. In this resource I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the importance of creativity, to share of my thoughts and to give some tips for fun options for encouraging creativity at home.
To start with a few thoughts…..
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that young children learn and develop best through play. Through play children develop their confidence, self-esteem, communication and core dispositions – building upon their natural curiosity and their desire to explore and make sense of the world around them. Dispositions are attitudes and behaviours such as persistence, resilience, collaboration, risk taking. These provide the foundations for learning. Through play and our support children will naturally develop the skills to cultivate their creativity.
Children need to be nourished in order to flourish and reach their potential. There are many areas that nourish. A balanced healthy diet, physical exercise, rest and sleep, social and emotional interaction and crucially the freedom to play and develop their creativity.
So why is creativity important? There are two main reasons here.
The thinking skills around creativity are widely accepted as now being key 21s century skills. In our rapidly changing world the skills to be able to adapt and innovate are increasing important
The process of being creative nourishes the human spirit. Being creative is so beneficial for
our sense of well-being and mental health. This is true for everyone, children and adults. We need this now more than ever
So how can I encourage and nurture creativity? – well, one thing to say about creativity – is it’s actually pretty complex! There are so many contributing factors – but that complexity is also part of its beauty! Here I’ll just highlight a couple of key points.
Let your child take the lead – let them be in charge of their play and explorations, give them the space to make their own decisions and choices. They need the freedom to take risks and make mistakes.
It’s the process that is important not the end product. When we are thinking about encouraging creativity we are really talking about encouraging the thinking skills that lead us in the direction of creativity. These skills are creative thinking skills (essentially generating ideas) and critical thinking skills (thinking as children analyse and reflect upon what they are experiencing). Talking together is important for developing these – and it’s often about saying the right thing at the right time so children keep their flow and enthusiasm. So try not to place emphasis on the final product but celebrate your child’s ideas and engage them with ‘open’ questions as they explore – questions that open up possibilities – ‘what are you noticing…?’ ‘I wonder if there any other ways to do this….’, etc. to help develop their thinking.
Below are 10 ideas to help nurture and cultivate creativity, to play around with and to explore the limitless possibilities. They do not contain specific instructions or predetermined outcomes so are all very open-ended.
Have fun! Do share your experiences with others….creativity is contagious.
Keep well, stay safe, Pete.