I love watching and listening to children as they come up with fresh ideas or create something new. When the project is right, their passion, enthusiasm and motivation for the task is exciting to observe. Children have great ideas and activities that develop the skills associated with creativity and inventiveness don’t have to be overly complicated or difficult to set up. And these skills are important, especially within to modern day lives. Here are nine ways to get children creating, thinking and talking about new ideas at both home and school.
9 Ways to Encourage a Child’s Creativity
1. View creativity as a collection of skills that can be taught and practiced. Choose activities that develop the skills, processes and practices involved with self expression, idea generation and problem solving – things like brainstorming and testing hypotheses.
2. Provide opportunities and open ended activities that task children with finding not one correct but multiple answers, that engage them with exploring solutions to real problems, and engineering ways to do things better.
3. Make these learning opportunities relevant and meaningful to engage and motivate learning.
4. Choose activities that relate to topics of interest – things that the child cares most about.
5. Provide opportunities for collaborative problem solving – this way each child learns from others whilst developing the skills necessary to function as a contributing member of a team.
6. Play with the idea of ‘What if?’ What if we woke up one morning and turned on the tap to find that all that came out was chocolate milk? What if you found a $50 note? What if everything you touched turned to jelly?
7. Choose a range of materials for children to use to express their ideas. Creativity is not just in art but in construction, writing, dance, music, drama, movement and more.
8. Encourage sharing of ideas with others and acceptance of all ideas. Help children to understand the importance of accepting the ideas of others, even those that seem beyond the realm of obvious possibility.
9. Accept mistakes and false starts as part of the learning process. Help children learn to understand that things don’t always work the right way first time, and that it is important to revise, revisit and try again, even in the face of failure and disappointment.
Check out these activities and resources that get kids thinking and creating;