As the freest form of self-expression, creativity can reflect and nurture a child’s mental and emotional health. With everyone having gone through a childhood of their own, just about anyone can attest to the satisfaction and fulfilment of expressing themselves openly and without judgement. Thus, the experiences of our little ones during their early years can enhance their creativity. This is further supported by studies such as the findings published by Educational Researcher and Education Nest that discovered bringing children to cultural institutions like museums can promote stronger critical thinking skills, better memory, and a high level of cultural tolerance, for starters. In the following sections, we further explore the impact of creativity on children and the whys and hows of fostering it.
For children, all they really need to be creative is the freedom to wholly commit themselves to whatever activities they wish to pursue. Simply put, self-expression is the most important aspect of any creative act. Creative experiences can help our little ones convey and cope with their feelings, and it also helps parents and teachers learn more about what they are thinking about. Creativity also fosters a child’s mental growth as it provides boundless opportunities to check out new ideas, ways of problem-solving, and lines of thought. Creative activities help celebrate and acknowledge a child’s uniqueness and diversity and offer prime opportunities for personalised teaching. Some of the aspects in which creativity impacts a child’s development include:
Creativity promotes a child’s mental growth through challenges involving spatial relationships, equality, balance, shape, measurements, problem-solving, and more.
Activities involving wonder, curiosity, inquiry, reflection, and supported confusion all help to develop divergent thinking in children.
Understanding the needs of others and their different perspectives and values helps to shape a child’s social skills.
Sensory perception, hand-eye coordination, and attention span are all developed through free play, storytelling, and intentional projects, respectively.
1. Provide plenty of opportunities
Our little ones need many opportunities for creative thinking and creative play. The best place to start is to engage them in activities based on their ideas and interests and give them a wide range of creative supplies. Remember, being creative goes beyond just drawings or scribbles; there is also music, sculpting, photography, field trips and adventures, and more. The possibilities are virtually endless. It is vital to give our children as much time as possible to discover and pursue their thoughts and ideas, including time for planning, designing, constructing, experimenting, and revising project ideas.
2. Include a variety of experiences
Look for ways to provide community experiences for children, such as field trips, bringing over friends from school to visit, and celebrating birthdays and other events with neighbours to enhance their creative process. The more varied their life and personal experiences are beyond their own environment, the wider the range of their creative expression and the more materials they can draw and incorporate when playing.
3. Focus on the creative process
Regarding creativity, it is vital to encourage children to make their own choices. As stated, they should be permitted frequent opportunities and ample time to experience and experiment with different expressive materials. Put emphasis on their creative process and journey instead of the final result, and show your support by offering assistance and expressing your appreciation for their efforts. Control and independence are two critical components of this creative process, especially regarding children with disabilities.
4. Make time for creative play
Creative play is one of if not the most important types of creative activity for our little ones. It is expressed when they use materials they are already familiar with in new and unusual ways or when engaging in imaginative play and role-playing. Nothing nourishes their soul and reinforces their spirit better than giving them lots of time to engage in self-directed, spontaneous play throughout the day.
Through this activity, children can cope and express their feelings and relieve stress and pressure as they can simply be themselves without needing to live up to adult standards. Play lets kids have the opportunity to gain mastery over their environment and control the experience through their imagination and exercise their decision-making skills as they progress through playtime.
Moreover, play develops children’s individual styles and unique perspectives of creative expression as it conveys their personal responses to a given environment. It is a self-expressive, free-form, and open-ended activity that draws on their powers of imagination to build on and experiment with past ideas and try out new ones.
Check out our previous article for the cognitive benefits of play!
Many studies have demonstrated the positive impact of creativity, from childhood to adulthood, on an individual’s emotional intelligence and various skills. Thus, creative expression greatly impacts and is a key ingredient to a child’s healthy development.
For the best and most efficient way of nurturing your child’s creativity, cognitive skills, and other capabilities, look no further than The Brain Academia. As one of the leading learning centres in Singapore, our cognitive development training and enrichment programs combine fun and effective classes that bring out your little one’s full potential.
For information about our offers, do not hesitate to contact us today by filling up this contact form.