Creative learning for children
Being creative gives children the ability to express their own feelings and experiences in a personal and abstract way. Looking at the child’s creativity will give teachers, parents, and others insight into the children’s emotional health.
Before the age of six years old, many preschoolers will reach their high of creativity as their mind is fascinated by imagination and magic. After entering school, the creativity of kids will reduce as they are more focused on following rules and more serious education.
Nevertheless, children’s imagination is endless – they love to develop games on their own, they experiment, fantasize, and explore. Supporting children’s creativity will help them develop intellectually across all new subjects in life. Children will be able to generate new and unique solutions as well as make new connections.
What is creative learning for children?
Creative learning helps children to reflect, wonder, raise curiosity, and support confusion. Furthermore, it helps children to develop confidence, language, physical and thinking skills, imagination, and emotional understanding. In diverse ways – that will be discussed later in this article – children will be able to make sense of the world, express themselves, and make decisions.
Ways to improve creativity on children?
- Support children to solve problems creatively: Ask children open-end questions that have no right or wrong answer. Afterwards, ask more questions by highlighting curiosity.
- Go exploring: Visit museums, libraries, or go explore different towns or cities together.
- Let the child create something: Give the child a list of items. Afterwards, they must create something out of it that includes all the items from the list.
- Break the rules: To encourage creativity, let the children break the rules and let them think of unusual ways and ideas. For example, play a board game but do not follow the original rules, create new ones, or another fun thing, let the child create the alphabet with different shapes of pasta.
- Get messy: It is not possible to express your own creativity without not getting messy. Therefore, let the children get as messy as they want to because that helps them to explore, experience and create more.
What is creative play?
Creative play helps children to learn and develop new skills. It includes playing instruments, painting, dress-ups, singing, storytelling, and dancing.
Creative learning through arts and crafts
Children love to play with arts and crafts, especially because they can use different crayons, paints, playdough, clay, scissors, glue, and paper. The smaller the child is, the easier and simpler the shapes of the art piece will be. Smaller children are more interested in different textures and colors in their stages of development.
Creative learning ideas based on the age of children:
- Sensory bags – a creative learning activity for the smallest children are sensory bags. Children at an early age like to poke their hands and fingers into all things. With the sensory bag, they can feel different textures, materials, and items.
- Learning shelf – preschoolers and smaller children will find this learning shelf more interesting. On this hungry caterpillar learning shelf and activities, children will be able to develop their creativity on various stages. On each shelf, children find a new task to explore their creativity.
- Phases of the moon – together with the child, you can create the Moon Phases Learning Toy. That will help children understanding how the moon works. Nevertheless, this toy is best for children that already attend the school as it is more complex to understand.
Creative learning through dance
Children – no matter their age – love to dance. Dancing helps them to develop physical and concentration skills. Often children express their feelings through dance as well. They will show if they feel sad, happy, excited, or joyful.
Creative learning through music
To express their own feelings and ideas, children love to use musical instruments and their own voices. Children can easily recognize, name their favorite songs, and sing most of the lyrics after hearing a song multiple times. Singing helps children to understand the differences between fast and slow music, loud and soft noises, and long and short words.
What is creative thinking?
While the creative play focuses on developing and learning new skills, creative thinking helps to produce fresh solutions to a problem. Creative thinking is a skill to look at a problem from different and creative perspectives.
8 ways to strengthen creative thinking in children
- Make children question things
Ask the child questions that make them wonder, like “Why is the sky blue?” or “Why don’t have all flowers the same color?” Explaining the answers afterward will make the child more curious, which helps them develop their imagination skills and problem-solving abilities as well.
- Let them express their intelligence
There are diverse types of intelligence and every child should be able to show theirs. As a teacher or a parent, you should give children the opportunity to express all forms of intelligence.
- Multiple ways to solve problems
Children must understand that there are not only many ways to solve a problem but also many different perspectives to look at everything.
- Encourage curiosity
We all know that children ask a lot of questions and they want to know everything – but this is a good thing as it shows their curiosity towards everything. To drive their curiosity further it is the task of the parents and the teachers to provide children with tasks and themes to enhance their curiosity.
- Activity boxes
Let your child think outside the box by playing creative games and activities. These play-based learning tools help children develop skills like coordination, self-expression, and fine motor.
- Read a book
Instead of sitting in front of the TV, tablet, or phone, children should read more books or follow any other creative hobbies. Especially reading can help children to express themselves better and develop their logical thinking. Furthermore, it helps them focus on learning new things.
- Give children free time and space
To let children explore their imagination, it is important to give them the space to do it. Give them a few hours without any appointments or activities so they have the time to focus fully on their imagination.
- Do not reward children
Being creative should not be rewarded as it may hinder the process of enhancing the quality and flexibility of their thoughts.
It becomes clear that supporting the creative development of a child is crucial and necessary. The overview of the 8 ways to strengthen creative thinking in children can be found here. There are many ways to help children of all ages to explore their creativity. In our article 20 Autumn activities to do with kids, you will find more ideas and activities to encourage your child’s creativity.