When very young children start playing, with toys or with crayons, they listen to and trust themselves. They eagerly follow their instincts and their urge to explore the immense world in which they have just arrived.
They seem to flow with the inner current of their creativity, and with amazing freedom.
Adults love to watch the ease and enjoyment children have in inventing, and we marvel at the direct contact they have with creation.
Just as all children are not equally intelligent, all children are not equally creative. But just as all children exhibit behaviors which evidence intelligence from birth, they also exhibit behaviors which evidence the potential for creativity.
Creativity is essentially a form of problem-solving. But it is a special type of problem-solving--one that involves problems for which there are no easy answers: that is, problems for which popular or conventional responses do not work. Creativity involves adaptability and flexibility of thought. These are the same types of skills that numerous reports on education (e.g., the Carnegie Report, 1986) have suggested are critical for students.
How Can Parents Encourage Creativity?
- Provide an environment that allows the child to explore and play without undue restraints.
- Adapt to children's ideas rather than trying to structure the child's ideas to fit the adult's.
- Accept unusual ideas from children by suspending judgement of children's divergent problem-solving.
- Use creative problem-solving in all parts of the curriculum. Use the problems that naturally occur in everyday life.
- Allow time for the child to explore all possibilities, moving from popular to more original ideas.
- Emphasize process rather than product.
Parents can encourage creativity by emphasizing the generation and expression of ideas in a non-evaluative framework and by concentrating on both divergent and convergent thinking. Adults can also try to ensure that children have the opportunity and confidence to take risks, challenge assumptions, and see things in a new way.
We have compiled a list of various of activities which can be pursued as hobbies by children of various ages. It is up to the parents to encourage any interest shown by enrolling their children to any of the schools or clubs listed here.