Supporting early childhood professionals worldwide in
their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults.
By Karen StephensGo to page: 1 2 3
Resourcefulness,the ability to meet challenges in a variety of ways, is a by-product of creative intelligence. As children develop resourcefulness, they learn to trust their instincts and unique abilities. They acquire a positive attitude toward problem solving. Resourceful children mature into confident and industrious people. Just as important, they tap into the multitude of joys life has to offer. The capacity to be resourceful stems from our miraculous brain, but not just any brain. No, creativity can only be harvested from a well-nourished brain. It requires a partnership between genetic inheritance and responsive adults willing to nurture and stimulate. With the right greenhouse conditions, creativity flowers to its natural conclusion — expression of the human spirit! If we raise children brave enough to be creative, we bestow a gift money can't buy. So apply the following tips and seed your child's imagination. Enjoy the bloom, and may the harvest be unending.
Tips for Encouraging Creativity
• Encourage curiosity and seeking answers. One of the best ways parents can respond to a child's questions is by saying, "I don't know.How could we find the answer?"
• Don't stifle and numb creativity with too many manufactured toys. Resistbuying kids every accessory marketed with the latest movie or cartoon character so resourcefulness will have room to grow. Dolls are nifty, but kids don't stretch their imagination when we supply every dress and play prop. Pre-assembled kits rob kids of chances to think on their own.
•Value varying ideas and opinions. Encourage brainstorming by saying: "Well,that sure is one way of looking at it," or "What a GOOD idea, I've never thought of that before. Let's try it!"
• Encourage exploration. Make specific,motivating comments, such as: "How interesting; you created a secret passage-way with the blocks," or "The way you mixed different greens for leaves makes your tree look very real."
• Avoid shaming or embarrassing children who experiment through trial and error. Don't say: "What in the WORLD were you thinking of?" Instead offer support, "If that didn't work, try something else; you'll get it. "Encourage reasonable risk taking that fuels creativity.
• Stimulate imaginative,independent thought by posing questions. In projects, avoid telling kids exactly what to do. For instance,when making a bird feeder say, "I wonder what would hold the cracked corn and sunflower seeds. What would you suggest?"
• Resist perfectionism. Don't take over a child's project because you can do it better or faster. (Of course, you can!) Likewise, resist putting finishing toucheson a child's project to make it perfect. Respect the learning that takes place while a project is made. That process is more important than the final product. With practice, products improve.
• Avoid discouraging phrases and negativity. Judgmental comments penalize creative experimentation. Resist phrases such as: "No,that's not how you do it; here,let me do it for you," "That would never work," or "Can't you ever do anything right?"
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