What is Creativity? Creativity can be described as the use of imagination and vision to create something new. How can we as educators and parents foster creativity in ‘our’ children during the early years. Here are seven ways to promote creativity and foster creative minds;
1. Provide sensory materials for the children to engage with. Give children time to be curious and provide opportunities for exploration. Educators and Parents can provide sensory experiences for young children to express themselves with. Children from an early age can become engaged in these types of experiences, such as clay and playdough construction. Children with additional needs will also find sensory activities calming.
2. Gather natural materials for the children to use. Have the children explore their environment, and collect natural objects and materials to create with. Natural materials may include leaves, flowers, shells, rocks, bark, and so on. Children will be able to create some amazing art and constructions utilising these materials.
3. Encourage creativity by using recyclable materials. Children should be encouraged to promote sustainable practices by working with recyclable materials. Construction with recyclable objects can result in some amazing opportunities for children to utilise their creative minds.
4. Allow children to express themselves through visual art. Visual art can encourage children to express themselves and their feelings during the creative process. Allow children time and space to create their artwork, and talk to children about their creations.
5. Assist children to express themselves through dance, music and movement. Children love to express themselves through music and movement. Provide a range of music and allow the children to dance the way they would like too. This is always a fun experience, and can also bring calmness to the children.
6. Encourage children to be involved in drama and storytelling. Children will enjoy expressing themselves through drama and storytelling. Allow children to create their own stories and to act these out as a group.
7. Promote conversations that reflect upon talking about emotions and feelings. Provide a secure space for children to talk about their feelings. Provide engaging props to assist children with this activity. Visual cues, felts and puppets can be a popular way to engage children to express themselves, and build an awareness of emotions and feelings.