There is a common misconception out there that kids are either creative or they aren’t. The truth is that creativity can be nurtured or stifled as early as the preschool years when children are developing essential fundamental skills that will impact their academic success later in life.
Picasso once said that in every child there is a great artist. If you have ever truly watched a child use crayons, glue, and scissors to create a masterpiece, you understand that statement. Picasso also went on to say that the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
Ask 20 kindergartners, “Who is an artist?” and 20 hands will go up. Ask the same question to a group of 4th graders and you’ll find that somewhere before the age of 10, many kids lose sight of their inner artist.
Learning to Inspire Creativity in Students
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. In his 2006 TED Talk, How Schools Kill Creativity, he argues that creativity is as important in education as literacy and we should treat both with the same status.
Recent research has found that, from kindergarten scribbling to high school self-portraits, the arts can play a vital role in developing children's creativity, self-expression, and problem-solving skills.
Here are 6 ways to inspire creativity in every child.
Introduce children to new situations or unique experiences. Give them opportunities to wonder and explore and discover. Shift the focus from the “right answer” to “I wonder…” and “What if…”
Encourage orange skies
Kids who have can make sense out of an orange sky or a purple dog learn how to tap into their own imaginations and nurture creativity. Get past the expected and the accepted. Give them the freedom to color outside of the lines.
Create maker spaces
If we want kids to be creative, we have to give them a space to be creative. Dedicate a space for kids to make, create, tinker, and experiment. Stock it with scissors, markers, paints, glue, glitter, construction paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, fabric scraps, and anything else that can spark their imagination.
Shift from inspiration to production
The process of taking an idea from inspiration to production is where kids can really begin to the process of creative thinking. When we actually make things through experimentation or “what if” questioning, we develop new and innovative techniques for thinking that can be applied in other areas.
Let them get messy
Neat freaks, beware! What looks like chaos and disorder may be creative genius in the making. Provide opportunities for open-ended play, creation, and discovery. When multiple senses are engaged and stimulated, children are more likely to make an emotional connection with what they know, see, and do.
Sir Ken Robinson said it best when he said, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
Facilitate the wonder and exploration and experimentation that enable kids to produce their own ideas and solutions. Embrace the mistakes they make along the way and help kids do the same in a way that they can learn from the process.
It’s going to be messy, but we owe it to our kids to get past the expected and accepted, let them roll up their sleeves, and inspire the creative artist in each of them.
Learn more about the cognitive benefits of arts and crafts at http://letsbond.elmers.com