For some of us it’s hard to comprehend or accept that play is a child’s work. Or the importance of play. Or what children gain from play. Maybe we are just too busy and do not have the time to unpack the subject or really is it that important? What probably is on your mind today though, is getting your child educated so they can be happy and successful in life.
So today when picking up your child from Kindergarten you were greeted with yet another piece of art/woodwork. Which by the way represents nothing you have ever seen before but being an interested parent with an imagination almost as large as your child’s, you listen intently to the description of how it was made and how it works, all the time pretending to understand. Fortunately, as parents, we can do more than two things at once, so you nod and look interested but consuming your thoughts right now is how long do I have to store this thing and more to the point, where?
A continuing supply of creative pieces over the coming months and the increased size of your wood bin, leads us to believe, that your child is creative. Congratulations! Your puzzled and wonder were this creativity has come from. Creativity is a gift, an innate talent, that you are born either with or without. Right? Wrong. It’s just a myth. Creativity can be cultivated in every baby, toddler and child. In order to be strong, competent learners, children need both a sense of belonging and to be aware of themselves as separate, creative individuals. Encouraging children to develop a point of view of their own is important as is developing our own interests. If we do not have interests that are our own, we will not have the possibility to develop our own points of view and ideas. We will be unable to do things in a new way or make things that are different. We will always follow the crowd. (Bruce,2004)
Creativity is hard to define; however, creativity is an important part of developing children’s problem solving and innovative thinking as they invent, experiment, take risks, break rules and make mistakes. Encouraging creativity is simply, ensuring your child has time to play.
Supporting the development of creative and innovative thinking is significant for children as they face new situations and challenges throughout their lives. New Zealand currently rates third out of 139 nations as the most creative economic performer. (Soffel,2015). Something I believe, we should be proud of.
So, at a time when creativity is increasingly seen as fundamental in surviving and thriving in an increasingly uncertain and rapidly changing world, perhaps you might need to give some more thought to just where you are going to display that piece of art/woodwork that came home today.
“A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled”
Bruce, T., 2004 Cultivating Creativity in Babies, Toddlers and Young Children.