Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Importance of creativity for Children

Each individual is born with immense potential for creativity. People who are extremely successful in the fields of medicine, arts, entrepreneurship, politics, pure sciences, engineering, education or public service have benefited from a mentor and/or an environment that nurtured creative thought and action. Starting Early “A baby's brain seems to be the most powerful learning computer on the planet.” says psychologist Alison Gopnik in her TED talk. The duration of a species’ childhood correlates to the size of its brain and intelligence. Humans have a comparatively longer childhood than other species.
Children have the ability to come up with unconventional solutions to problems. Billions of associations are being made within their brain based on all the stimuli and experiences that they encounter; this process slows down as we age. Early childhood is therefore, a great window of opportunity to develop the child’s abilities. How to encourage creativity in children Introduce younger children to good raw materials like paints, markers, coloured papers, clay and blocks. Encourage them to try their hands at art, music, dance or simple science experiments. Great innovations begin as an imaginative thought!
Older children can be introduced to challenging and interesting problems relating to the environment, health, sciences or society. It is ok to be messy when it comes to creativity. Although it might be challenging, allowing for mistakes and experimentation lets children put all their ideas to work. Care must be taken to ensure health & safety. Be aware about the culture of over consumption. Filling up the mind passively by watching TV shows, playing video games and using certain gadgets for very long periods of time may actually hurt creativity. Appreciate any creative solutions that children come up with even if they aren’t perfect.
Do not try to control the outcome of what a child is trying to achieve. Giving importance to the process of creation rather than the end result sets the perfect tone for coming up with great solutions. Excessive focus on achieving high grades by curtailing free flowing creative time can hurt creativity and therefore career prospects! On the other hand, overtly forcing creativity might actually prevent creative outcomes. We can set an example for children and others around us by being creative ourselves. Conclusion Creativity is not about just amusement. Helping children take small steps towards becoming more creative everyday has many benefits. We are not just helping children solve everyday problems, but we are building resilience, independent thought, and preparing them for dealing with unfamiliar situations. So how are you going to inspire a child today?