Children and Creativity

The most important thing about teaching children creativity is not to give them the theory of what you are doing. They are not ready for the background stuff, they want to get on and do. This eagerness is the first thing of which to take advantage. Keep this light atmosphere and make it fun. They will make mistakes but be gentle on how these are corrected. Dampening enthusiasm is destructive to creativity. Let them keep the fun element because this is what releases creativity.  The ‘what if? 

Most people learn best when they practice the skills they have to master. It becomes part of their memory and musculature. This is better than telling because each person interprets the instructions differently. A demonstration on how to use a potter’s wheel, with some hints on what works best, then allowing the child to try will give them the feel of the clay, how much water to use and the chaos that a round wheel can create without practice.  They can acquire the sense of what can be done with the clay and how malleable it is. In no time they will be experimenting with different ways to achieve what they want. The items may not all be usable but that is not the point of the exercise. It’s freeing the ideas and experimentation.

Allowing a child to rub the fat into flour to make pastry lets them be in contact with the ingredients, how they feel from the start of the operation to how they change in the final stage before water is added. They can then find out different ways of using the ready dough. George III of England always wondered how the apples got into apple dumplings because he had never seen them being made. Giving children experiences of simple things and letting them try invites creativity 

Showing them how to find words in the dictionary can set off an interest in language. This strengthens the alphabet structure, the use of words and construction of sentences because the language in dictionaries is precise. Offering the best experiences will develop further skills with, sometimes surprising, outcomes. 

By giving this contact with materials, children can experience the feel of things and for those who learn well through their senses this is important because it informs them about their world. For those who learn in other ways the sensory experience awakens a new line of learning.  

Creativity is about being free to try new ideas, to see what happens when A is done and is B a better result. Being able to be creative in any field allows the individual to think laterally on other occasions.  This makes life richer and problem solving successful.