Nurturing Creativity

Our ability to be creative helps us be more flexible, adaptable, and better problem solvers. Creativity also helps people take advantage of new opportunities and adapt to changing technology. It also contributes to well-being.

As a problem-solving skill, creativity is as important in business, math, and science as it is in the arts, music, and theatre. Anna Powers, in a 2018 Forbes article, asserts, “Creativity is the skill of the future.” 

So what exactly is creativity? According to Dictionary.com, it is “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.” 

Says American neurologist Alice Flaherty, “A creative idea will be defined simply as one that is both novel and useful (or influential) in a particular social setting.” (Creativity Workshop)

Where does creativity come from?

Children are born naturally curious and develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through play. Parents and caregivers can support a child’s natural inclination to experiment and be creative by providing an environment that encourages exploration. This might include materials for open-ended and unstructured activity and the time and space to allow their imaginations free reign.

 

But creativity is not just something you either are born with or not.  It is a skill that can be nurtured and developed, throughout a lifetime. Creativity can be cultivated in children and adults alike. 

 

On October 7th, Dr. Aoife Magee will host a virtual workshop for parents and caregivers that delves into all aspects of nurturing creativity. Attendees will learn how to support the development of imagination and creativity in their children and how to nurture their own creativity at the same time.

Is creativity a skill that can be developed?

It is! Parents and caregivers can model the creative process for young children by being life-long learners themselves. Explore a new activity and follow your curiosity. Support the creative process in children by asking questions and Inviting them to talk about their exploratory play.  

Displaying the results of creative activities further encourages creativity in children. When we hang that painting on the wall or use the clay bowl they made, we are demonstrating that we value the creativity and effort that went into making it.

Creating an environment for play that encourages creativity is another way to support children’s creative development. Provide unstructured time without any planned activities in an environment that allows for child-led play with things that can be used many different ways. In the backyard or on the playground this might include logs, leaves, pinecones, pebbles, stones, chalk, dirt, digging tools, buckets and cups.  Indoors, bins of loose parts might include blocks, cars, animals, paper tubes, spools, popsicle sticks, pouring and measuring cups and spoons, sponges, paints and brushes.

What to learn more?

For a deeper dive into nurturing creativity, in our children and ourselves, join Dr. Aoife McGee on Wednesday, October 7th for a virtual workshop on Nurturing Creativity. Participants will explore the characteristics of creative people (adults and children alike), and learn how to encourage creativity and critical thinking to improve problem-solving skills. A combination of large group presentation and small group hands-on activities and discussion, participants will come away with tools to help flex those creativity muscles.