The definition of "Creativity": the ability to improve. I like that. So many times I judge creativity as the ability to sew, toll paint, or do other crafty things. While all of these are parts of creativity, it encompasses so much more.
First I think all people want to improve...improve themselves, their surroundings, relationships, community and many other things. I think that is why we are drawn to the creative process. Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ are the ultimate creators. We are children of God, so we have inherited this ability and desire to create or make things better.
So have our children...I often wonder what makes the natural creativity that children are born with sometimes wither and die. I wonder if we as Mothers nurtured this ability and process more and expanded our definition of creativity, if our children would be happier children and adults.
We need to remember that we can be creative in art, music, writing, problem solving, but also in movement, cooking, learning styles, imagination, science, play, and many other ways. We need to encourage our children in all areas they are being creative. Whether they are drawing or trying a science experiment. We should never pass judgement, let the child be free to explore his creative styles and processes. Often times we want to step in and show children how to do things correctly.
Now don't get me wrong, all children need direction and need to taught the correct way to do
things..but I have found that I save their self-esteem if I teach them in a controlled, scheduled way.
For example I know children love to draw, and they love to be able to draw pictures that others can identify what was drawn, so I give my little ones "drawing lessons". During the summer months or before the kids go to school, I will lead them through a lesson on how to draw simple things. This acti
vity fosters their creativity and esteem...they love being taught, and the finished product. They are then free to use this knowledge the next time they are independently drawing. I would never step in while they are in the middle of a picture and show them how to draw whatever they are creating. I have seen this happen and every time the child quickly gives the picture and experience up.
Being truly creative in music requires lessons, cooking requires a basic recipe, ballet requires the knowledge of the steps... the process is the same for all areas. You must gain knowledge either by trial and error or a controlled lesson.
There are so many ways we can encourage creativity. We need to give our children time to be creative. We should not over schedule our children with lessons, or sports. Non-structured play is a key component to creativity in children. We need to provide plenty of materials for creativity. Each day I try to put out play dough, or paper and markers, paint, construction paper, tape and scissors...no direction just let the children create. Having good music in the air helps with creativity.
Plenty of outside play also stimulates creativity. Showing and explaining the world around our children fosters creativity. Take your little ones to museums, national monuments, libraries, concerts, plays, etc. and explain what is going on....I have found that a small amount of time on the Internet showing things and places I don't have access to is a great way to stimulate creativity and vocabulary. Read to your children!!! Have your kids with you while you go about your daily activities, it will expand their world and ultimately their creativity.
I also feel their are certain things we do that are a disservice to our children's creativity. Too much TV, video games, and computer time should be avoided.
According to several studies, Children who have been allowed to develop creativity are generally good students, better problem solvers, have more self confidence and are happy.
I hope all of us will try to always foster creativity in our children and ourselves!