We’ve been writing on the relationship between screens and creativity in a recent series of pieces In this post, we’ll look at five simple techniques to boost creativity right now. (Creative Preschool)
The “Creativity Crisis” refers to the fact that, according to standardised exams, children’s creativity has been progressively dropping since 1990. Whether it’s due to our rigid educational system, a lack of unstructured play, or technology, finding strategies to boost creativity is unquestionably worthwhile.
Here are five simple strategies to encourage your child’s creativity during the day:
1. Encourage inquiries
Every parent understands that their children have a lot of questions. The video below summarises a survey finding that youngsters ask almost 300 questions each day, with the number of queries peaking at four years old.
Parents frequently complain that the inquiries are attention-getting, but research suggests that they are more often information-getting and follow a child’s natural growth. Children who are learning to speak ask vocabulary questions (18-36 months) while preschoolers ask function questions (What does that button do?). What is the significance of that sign?).
Instead of being exhausted, you might encourage queries by replying with excitement. More crucially, you can answer questions with questions, which relieves the strain on your multitasking brain and allows for varied thinking.
“What do you think we should call it?” might be an answer to “What is that?” Encourage your child to provide as many answers as possible.
“Why” inquiries provide good brainstorming chances. Adults (we don’t know!) can be irritated by questions like “Why didn’t those individuals shovel their driveway?” Turn the tables on your youngster instead. Consider all of the reasons why someone could choose not to shovel their driveway.
Encourage problem-based learning.
Children are more interested in resolving issues that they are experiencing. As a result, encourage your children to talk about their concerns at home, at school, and in their play.
Is it too dark in their room at night? Allow them to brainstorm potential answers to their difficulties and then test them out. Patience is the best quality you can model here. Your youngster will have more time to come up with intriguing ideas if you can model and promote patience. The increase in self-efficacy kids get from solving the problem with their own concept is an extra advantage.
3. Assist with the process but not with the solution
The majority of creativity experts feel that the creative process can be taught. Divergent and convergent thinking are used in the process.
When your child has a problem, a question, or is working on something (such as a play fort), don’t supply the answers. Instead, support your child’s learning. Assist them in coming up with as many suggestions as possible (divergent thinking). We’re so fond of diverse thinking that we built a game about it.
After that, assist them in finding flaws in the solutions they came up with. Take them through the steps of brainstorming solutions to the potential issues. Encourage them to combine multiple ideas into a single, more complete solution.
Do you want a bonus? Encourage them to cooperate. Include siblings or other family members in the brainstorming process. Collaboration is an important part of the creative process.
4. Provide free, uninterrupted time blocks
Giving your child open, uninterrupted blocks of time is one of the most beneficial things you can do for his or her creative development. These various processes that we’ve been discussing take a long time to complete. Your child requires the flexibility to engage in creative or constructive play, to identify a problem, and to work through possible solutions.
Schedule some time in your child’s day when there is nothing (no lessons, homework, or errands) so they can get down and dirty in their own mind, especially in our hectic culture.
You should join our email list if you haven’t already. In our endeavour to provide you with 1 Million Screen-Free Activities to do instead of screen time, we send out inspirational activities. In this situation, I arrived downstairs to find the kids playing video games with our remote controls.
5. Make use of a different educational strategy
According to some study, alternative kinds of education, particularly Waldorf, may be more effective at encouraging children’s creativity (Kirkham & Kidd, 2015). Don’t panic if your child isn’t enrolled in a Waldorf school; I’ve written on the digital divide in school choice before, and I sympathise with parents who believe their children’s schools are falling short of their expectations. You can, however, use parts of the philosophy in your own home. For instance, we recently made an indoor dirt bin for my kid so that he could “get dirty” during the long winter months, and we also keep our own version of the Montessori Shelf stocked in our kitchen (learn about it here).
In the study described above, the Steiner schools highlighted a variety of topics, including oral storytelling, including fairy and folk tales, fostering imaginative play, and a strong emphasis on teacher and student artwork, among others. Oral story-telling can easily be implemented at home by taking turns telling stories and playing activities like narrative creation (taking turns adding onto a story).
Allow Those Kids to Fight
In my house, I place a strong emphasis on the value of sibling relationships, and it usually works out well. That is not to say that my children do not disagree. They have them on a regular basis. However, I make every effort to avoid being very invested with them. The issue is resolved considerably faster when I am calm and patient and enable them to settle their argument constructively.
As a result, use disagreements as an opportunity to stimulate innovation. Help your children relax before leading them through the brainstorming and solution-generating activities outlined above. You might be amazed by the inventive compromises and solutions that satisfy both kids.
Creativity is a skill that can be developed and improved through practice. By giving your child the opportunity to engage in creative activities, you are helping him or her to develop problem-solving skills, to think outside the box, and to come up with original solutions. All of these skills will be beneficial in school and in life.
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