Creativity needs cultivation and in this post, I write about the three aspects needed for cultivating creativity in children.
I had a flip-top desk when I was about 8 years old. It was in the living room and placed perpendicular to the wall with my back to the TV. Because of this unique placement, I had my own space that I could sit within. In that space, I have distinct memories of drawing and creating weird and wonderful things every day. I remember not ever being short of crafting material because there was always something inside my desk to make something with. My mom often picked a few for display around the house and I delighted each time she did that.
This memory of my little space is significant because it embodies three aspects needed for cultivating creativity in children: conducive environment, endless opportunity, and positive validation.
There is no denying that environment plays a huge role in character formation. A child’s immediate context provides cues and lessons which shapes and forms not only the child’s perception of the world around him/her but also the child’s character. So to cultivate creativity in children, you will need to provide a conducive environment for creativity to grow. The conditions of this environment is really dependent on the child’s natural leanings, whether it is towards being artistic, coding, mechanical etc.
You can be highly innately creative yet when you are presented with no opportunity at all, your creativity has no place to stretch and grow. Providing a child endless opportunity to exercise the creative muscle is the second element required to ensure that the natural creativity within the child doesn’t just stagnate. Giving the child opportunities to experience new things is a great way to watch how he/she handles either new material or new situations.
Positive validation is not just about praising your child’s work. It is a little more than that. It is showing through your actions that you value your child’s creative output. It is giving your child’s art work pride of place on your walls at home. It is promoting on your social media channels, the game your child has tirelessly worked in Scratch. It is paying for formal lessons to nurture a natural talent. These types of validation shows the child that you are truly interested and invested in his/her creativity.
In my next post, I will spend a little more time going into each element and provide some examples of how it has worked for me when I was a child and what I have been doing with my own children.
- Early Childhood News – A resource website for teachers and parents and this article, An Environment that Positively Impacts Young Children by Rebecaa Isbell, is relevant to the topic of this post.
- Aha Parenting – A great starting point for parents. I particularly like the section called How to raise an intelligent creative child.
- 9 Ways to support your child’s creativity is from Psych Central. This article shares similarities with what I have written in this post. It provides further points which you may which to consider.