Today I am entering my first blog on the topic of creativity in young children. For many years I have read everything that has come out on the amazing abilities of young children. One of their most astounding skills is their creative thinking.
E.P. Torrance concluded that we are most creative when we are “4 ” years old. This might be discouraging for some of us who are older than 4, but if we work with young children, we see examples of their creative abilities every day. The child who invents a new word, or a child painting with a feather, or a child composing and singing a new song are all examples of creative children in action.
Today it seems that many people are more interested in the “right” answer, or doing things in a specific way rather than thinking in creative ways. But creative thinkers are needed to deal with our fast changing world, to create new inventions, and deal with issues never before encountered. We in early childhood must strive to build children’s confidence in their thinking and inspire their creative ideas.
How do we spark creativity in our classrooms? There are so many different ways that we can impact the development of creativity. One powerful way is by provding children choices throughout the day – which Center to work in, the materials to use in a collage, or the way to dramatize a story. The environment can also impact creativity by including beautiful displays, unique treasures to explore, and a place to keep special projects to revisit.
It is interesting to note that creative teachers have the most creative children in their classroom—-not a surprise is it?
Let me know something you have done in your early childhood classroom to encourage your budding artists and creative thinkers. Everyday dedicated teachers are doing wonderful things that nurture creativity in their classsroom. Let’s start celebrating these ideas!
One approach I employ in my early childhood classroom to encourage budding artists and creative thinkers is to listen carefully to what the children are interested in or talking about with one another throughout the day. An example of this occurred a few years ago on the playground. Several children noticed that they could see something other than the sun during the day. This, of course, was the moon. The children were excited to find out that the moon could be seen during the day. During naptime, I found all kinds of different materials that could be used to create artwork around the children’s interest in this topic. That afternoon some children chose to create collages, some used crayons, markers, or pencils, and some used paint. Other children used clay and stamps to create artwork that expressed this newly learned scientific concept. The children stayed engaged in their projects for much longer and were still excited when their parents picked them up, each showing their parents their artwork, while explaining that sometimes you can see the moon during the day!
Hi, just thought I would contact you to ask for some advise. I am at present completing my dissitation MA in Early Childhood Studies and I am researching Creative Thinking in younger learners.
Any advise would be gratefully appreciated.