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Enhance Creativity in School Children

 

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Enhance Creativity in School Children

Everyone wants to have a brilliant child who excels at everything he puts his mind to… but how many of us realize that at the root of brilliance lies creativity?

When we think about creativity, most of us think about art, music, writing, acting and other artistic pursuits… and these are indeed true expressions of creativity. But the essence of creativity lies in the ability to find a new solution to a problem, to create something from what seems to amount to nothing. While great artists and writers are truly creative, so are brilliant engineers and groundbreaking doctors. So even if you don’t want your child go into acting, it can pay off to encourage his creativity in even the simplest elements of play.

School children

Once kids go to school, they will be formally introduced to “the arts.” And of course, not all kids will excel in them. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t creative. If your child hates drawing or composition writing, try encouraging him to develop other creative problem solving skills.

Often we find that education and creativity are two very different things but even if the school tends to emphasize rigid traditional learning, you can help your child take an occasional flight of fancy when you help with homework. If you’re memorizing dates and places of historical events, ask your child an off-the-wall question every once in a while – for example, what would have happened if Amr ibn al-‘Aas hadn’t managed to conquer Egypt? Or what would Egypt be like if we still lived like the Pharaohs did? What kind of food would we be eating? What sort of transportation would we use? This sort of creative questioning can help your child develop an appetite for learning while developing his ability to evaluate information at the same time. Science can be approached the same way. Kids studying different forms of energy production can imagine a world with no fossil fuels – what changes would that bring?

When your child comes home with a composition to write, don’t act as if it’s a disaster. Treat the assignment as an opportunity for your child to express his own ideas. What ever you do, don’t write it for him! You can brainstorm with your child as a way to get him to express himself, but don’t take over the project.

Around the house, you can engage your child in creative problem solving. Even things like finding new solutions for how to arrange the toy shelves involve creativity – challenge your child with finding a better way to do something, but give him a task that he can accomplish. Don’t assign him to rearrange his entire room. Instead, ask him to find a better way to shelve the books, for example.

Cooking can be a way to open up your child’s creativity, too. Kids love to make things in the kitchen and one fun activity is to make a cookbook of the creations that your kids come up with – complete with directions and measurements.

 

Create opportunities for creativity
Make creating simple. Always have supplies on hand:

· A special copybook to scribble ideas (a journal might be a good choice)
· Art supplies including paint, markers, old magazines that can be cut up, glue and paper
· Hobby supplies (these might include a wood working set, crocheting equipment, stamp collecting – or any other kind of collection)

 

Show off your child’s creativity

Be proud of whatever your child creates. You can encourage your child to make cardboard frames for his artwork to hang on the wall or choose some of his favorites to put on your fridge.

Don’t disparage your child’s efforts to understand how things work – if he takes apart a toy to see what makes it go and then can’t get it back together, he may have ruined the toy, but he may have also taken the first step towards the College of Engineering!

 

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