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Serious Play: Children and Creativity

by Caitlin (Cat) Lynch
March/April 2016
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/serious-play-children-and-creativity/5022872/

“[An artist] … questions … plays with ideas and materials, embraces ambiguity and bravely and passionately engages in developing creative products even when those around them reject their work.”

Cindy Foley, Director of Learning, Columbus Museum of Art, Journal of Museum Education (2014)

Though describing artists, she could just as easily been describing the behavior of young children at play. At the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA), our social mission is to cultivate, champion, and celebrate creativity. We believe creativity can be a vehicle for positive change. Creativity is vital and applicable to all professions and all ages, and it is a skill to be practiced and strengthened. Not everyone can be an artist, but anyone can practice creativity. This social mission underlies all the work that we do with visitors of all ages, including children under the age of five. While toddlers and preschoolers may not be able to read label copy or sit through lectures, at CMA we believe that children and art (and for that measure, children and art museums) are a natural match.

From the earliest days of Kindergartens in the early 19th century, research has shown that our first learning experiences have profound and lasting effects on who we become as ...

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