Recently I watched one of my favorite TED talks of all time, entitled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” by Ken Robinson. In it, he refers to children exuding creativity and how schools kill it. He says, “every child is born an artist” a famous Picasso quote, in which I whole-heartedly agree. The trick to remaining creative is not being afraid of being wrong, in fact, to expect it. Teaching for the past 16 years, ages 2 to 90, I cannot agree more. I see the change from childhood to adult and the fear that encroaches as we age. We fear expressing ourselves through our work and being “judged” for what we produce.
He goes on to argue that as children we are steered towards subjects and learning that is geared towards getting a job as an adult, and away from subjects such as drama, art, music, and dance. In his words, this is “profoundly mistaken”.
His solution is interaction. Creativity is built through interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things, such as movement, art, communication, science, etc. Everyone’s intelligence is distinctive, we all think differently and need to approach learning and creativity with our strengths.
In Ken’s words, as parents, “our task is to educate their whole being”. So ask yourself, what are your child’s strength’s? How can you support them and boost their individual creative intelligence? To help in this endeavor, I have included some helpful hints below:
Ways to Nurture Creativity
Creativity is a skill that can be built and encouraged. Creative people are better problem solvers. Creativity isn’t confined to the arts, it can be found in math and science as well.
- Space, give children a place and time to create. Provide a place in your home with markers, crayon, paper, and random “stuff” where they are free to explore and create.
- Unplug, have downtime, that means no kindles, iPads, iPods, TV, Wii, etc. let them be “bored” for a little while. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they find a creative outlet.
- Be Silly, have fun.
- Explore, get out of the house, visit a museum, parks, and a garden, anything, just get moving. A change in your environment, provides a different outlook.
- Keep a Journal. Capture all your creative thoughts.
- Learn a new skill, such as a language, cooking, art, sports, etc.
- Help someone else, see the world through a different lens.