Today’s children are inundated with information and the pressure to excel academically is higher than ever. Because of this, creative thinking and creative expression often get left behind. But creative thinking is crucial for a child’s healthy development and for helping them become more successful and well-rounded adults.
Benefits of Creative Thinking and Expression
Enhances Problem-Solving Skills
One trait common among many successful people is their ability to solve problems, and creative thinking skills and exercises during childhood are excellent ways to stimulate this skill. Creative thinking is directly tied to logic, even though many see them as separate concepts. Creative thinking involves generating and exploring new ideas, while logic consists in making sense of those ideas. This combination is key to problem-solving, an essential skill a person will use throughout their personal and professional lives.
Nurtures Creativity & Imagination
Children have wild imaginations; they can take a box and make it a car, spaceship, or teleporter to another world. However, there’s more going on than just kids having a good time. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Not downplaying the importance of knowledge but encouraging children to use their imagination and be creative teaches them how to think outside the box, which is critical to developing critical thinking skills.
Increased Flexibility & Adaptability
Teaching children to think creatively gives children the opportunity to explore different points of view. It allows them to develop a greater understanding of complex situations and how to adapt to them. Moreover, creative thinking encourages children to take risks and experiment with ideas, building their confidence. Because life changes more rapidly every day, and new, disruptive technologies come on the scene daily, humans need to adapt more quickly than ever before. Hence, it’s crucial to teach children this skill early, so they can carry it with them for the rest of their lives.
Think about this: The device you’re likely reading this post on came from the mind of a creative thinker. Teaching children to be more creative in their thinking gives them the skills and mindset needed to explore solutions to problems that may not be apparent to others. Creative thinking helps kids form the capacity to question the norms and challenge conventional wisdom, a trait that most great inventors and entrepreneurs share.
How to Encourage Creative Thinking
Creative thinking skills are crucial to your child’s development into a well-rounded adult, so let’s look at some ways to encourage it.
Encourage Imaginative Play & Exploration
Imaginative play is an excellent way to start children on the path to thinking more creatively. Imaginative play sessions can be as simple as giving them household props and having them make up a story or scenario based on what they believe the objects represent. For example, as mentioned earlier, children may get the cardboard box and make up a scenario in which they’re in a spaceship, saving the galaxy, or in a castle finding hidden treasure.
Provide Open-Ended Materials for Creative Expression
Open-ended materials is a fancy term to describe things like paint, clay, Play-Doh, markers, etc. However, instead of giving them something specific, turn them loose to make whatever comes to mind. Let them experiment with different techniques instead of doing what’s expected.
Provide Opportunities for Brainstorming & Problem-Solving
Children are naturally curious, and you can stimulate their creative thinking by giving them simple problems to solve using creative thinking skills. For example, give them blocks, and ask them to create a building or tower that would withstand strong wind or could double as a spaceship. You can also introduce them to puzzles that don’t have a concrete solution, like tangrams, a set of seven geometric shapes they can arrange in various designs and patterns.
Another excellent activity that children of all ages can engage in that stimulates creative thinking is storytelling. You can give them a prompt or let them devise something on their own and allow them to spin a yarn with whatever their imaginations dream up. The important thing to remember is that there are multiple ways to help your children to think more creatively, and one isn’t superior to the others. Find something your child likes, turn them loose, and be sure to praise them when they’ve accomplished something.
Our friends at Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies have a love for children at their core. Their facility is family owned and operated to ensure a critical sense of community that helps children learn in a comfortable and safe environment.
Kids ‘R’ Kids academies are nationally renowned, and we’re committed to providing a safe, secure, state-of-the-art learning environment with:
- Creative, fun, and technology-driven accredited educational programs
- Dedicated, highly trained, and personable staff
- Convenient drop-off and pickup with flexible hours
They’re perfect for your child’s early educational needs and development and are conveniently located at 12881 Tanja King Blvd., Orlando, FL. Schedule a tour today by calling 407-306-9035 or via their online form.