One of the most important things you can do is to foster creativity for kids in learning. But, why is creativity important?
Or, why is creativity important in early childhood education?
And, how does creative play benefit a child?
Before we answer these questions and go any further, let’s take a closer look at creativity.
What is creativity?
Creativity is defined as a form of free expression. It helps people learn new things and use innovation to solve problems. Creativity uses imagination and or original ideas for creating. Most people think of creativity in relation to art. However, creativity is used in many different areas including communication, STEM / STEAM, problem-solving and more. Creativity examples include: sensory play, arts and crafts for kids (any art projects), putting on a play with puppets, doing a science project and more!
Why is creativity important in education?
The importance of creativity in education is about more than just creative artwork. Creativity fosters curiosity and also encourages children to learn new things. Creativity also helps with a child’s emotional, physical, and intellectual development because it pushes the child to explore things, sometimes outside of their comfort zone. Creativity and learning is an important part of childhood!
The great thing about homeschooling and creativity is that kids can often creatively express themselves without fear of judgment.
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Here’s what our contributor Anita has to say about, “Why is creativity important?”
I have to say that learning to trust my child’s creative curiosity is by far one of the most important things I have learned as a home-schooling mom.
Being a perfectionist that thrives on a rapid consecutive schedule, it took me a couple years to learn to let go and wonder, “Why is creativity important?”
I wanted to choose the best homeschool curriculum, I wanted to choose what my kids were interested in, and frankly I wanted to choose what I thought about.
I wanted balance, and a clean house, uncluttered shelves, (of course they were cluttered, but with clutter of MY choosing).
Most of all, I wanted a nice tidy homeschooling checklist of learning!
Instead, I have an art table busy with projects, a STEM science shelf overflowing with the living and the dead, and education swirling in my brain 24/7 . . .
BUT . . . I have curious creative children!
Creating a learning structure, that robs the child of self- thinking, kills their creative curiosity.
When we teach our children that all learning is between the covers of their school books, and ends at the bottom of the page, we teach them that the goal is the completion of the work, and we create narrow minded learners.
But, allowing and helping them to pursue and cultivate the questions in their brains, opens to them a world full of learning, for naturally they really are explorers of knowledge.
So, why is creativity important for homeschool?
Why Is Creativity Important BIG Reason #1: My children have learned that they have a voice, and how to use it.
When we tell our children what and when to learn something, we teach them that the questions in their brain aren’t important.
Respecting and encouraging their creative curiosity teach them that they have a brain and voice worth listening to.
It shows them that they can make wise choices on their own, and that they have something of worth to give the world.
Why Is Creativity Important BIG Reason #2: I have more alone time!
I smiled so big when I discovered this one.
No longer do I need to police their every move and desire.
Nothing is more relaxing then watching them quietly from behind my coffee cup, learning on their own, of their own desire and choosing!
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7 Super Simple Ways to Nurture Creativity for Kids
Listed below are a few ways that have helped me cultivate our children’s natural curiosity and creativity.
Nurturing Creativity for Kids #1: Allow time for kids to do things their way.
This was huge for me!
Perhaps reading through the above you’ve decided that we have no structure, no school books, and no schedule.
Remember, it is I, the perfectionist, so of course there is schedule, and books!
However, I have found a wonderful mixture of curriculum that fits the needs of my children, and allows plenty of time for curiosity.
When explaining a new concept to a child, take time to listen to them, to answer their questions, and hear their thoughts.
Shut off the tick-tock of your mental clock, and let them take the floor.
Maybe they have a story to add, a way to do the problem differently than the book shows, or a wonderful childhood quip about the marvels of letters, numbers, and the world.
Allowing them to explain back to you, in their own words and time frame, what they are learning concretes the concept in their brain, and makes them feel as though they have an important place to play in the journey of their education.
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Nurturing Creativity for Kids #2: Create a science shelf.
Science and everything crawly is certainly not my forte, but this spring I filled a low shelf with scientist necessities:
- Nature books
- Baskets and jars for collecting
As I result I have had to closely examine all sorts ugly insects (in my house!!!!), but it is worth my momentary discomfort.
I love watching them pour over the nature books, making sure they find the exact right species, or hearing them burst into the house to grab a bug jar.
One big highlight for all of us was collecting a few Monarch caterpillars, and watching them morph into butterflies.
Presently we have several woolly caterpillar cocoons on the science shelf.
I’m hoping they wait until spring to hatch.
Nurturing Creativity for Kids #3: Watch DIY videos
My children love watching DIY videos on science experiments, art projects, or magic tricks.
Step-by-step instructions give them confidence to try things on their own, and stretches their curiosity in a different direction.
(Hint: stay calm, Mom, as a science lab erupts in your kitchen! Most things are washable and repairable, and your child’s education is worth it!)
DIY Science Activities for Kids [VIDEO]
Nurturing Creativity for Kids #4: Make art supplies easily accessible.
I have a daughter obsessed with art, and I love how spontaneously she pulls out a project.
I like to keep the glue gun, all the fun glue-able things, the paints, the scissors, the crayons, and the ever-dwindling stack of paper at a place where she can easy grab it when the creativity strikes.
If it is easy for her to get out, it is just as easily put away.
Nurturing Creativity for Kids #5: Make education a part of your day time conversation
When I was first given this suggestion, I cringed.
I wasn’t ready to bring school to our dinner table.
But oh, the wealth of creative curiosity we have gained from this.
Just mention a hurricane about to hit the east coast, and watch a few news flashes from the affected area.
Before you know it, your children will be looking at maps, talking about large bodies of water, and watching videos on how hurricanes form.
Perhaps one of my favorite ways to bring to create educational conversation is with the emails I receive from History Today.
The children love to hear what happened on this day years–or maybe centuries–ago and they become curious, if only momentarily, about places and people we may never have visited.
Nurturing Creativity for Kids #6: Keep google close for spur of the moment learning.
Those moments when you are far away from the classroom and start discussing interesting questions that even you don’t have the answer, Google it from your phone or device.
I hate losing those moments, not only are we missing a time of education, I am telling my children their question isn’t important enough for an answer.
So a quick little conversation with Google often sets it all straight!
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Nurturing Creativity for Kids #7: Place board and card games strategically around the house.
Just this morning we played memory during breakfast.
Because it was left out on the counter top from the evening before.
The children saw it and it caught their interest.
I have left other games on the bar top and loved watching the children play, even if it is for a few minutes while they waited on supper.
Some of our favorite games are children’s Boggle, President Go Fish, Uno, Life, and Rummikub.
I am so excited for you and your children as you explore!
Let me know in the comments: what does creative curiosity look like in your home?
This post is by Homeschool Super Freak Contributor Anita Byler, a mid-west homeschooling mom to her two children. She strives to see the beauty by grabbing the little moments and hanging on for dear life. Read more at littlemomentsgreatjoy.com