by Claire Gillespie from Oglee Poglee
At Oglee Poglee HQ, you’ll often hear us raving about the power of creativity and just how vital it is to help our children unleash theirs! But when traditional education pushes the arts to the sidelines, how can you know creativity is something worth nurturing in your kids? Let’s take a look at 6 important things they learn as they create:
They learn new ways of thinking
Let’s start with looking at what goes on in your child’s brain as they create. Emerging research shows that babies’ brains are born with around 100 billion neurons but with only about a quarter of the connections – synapses – already made between them. Creative activities have been shown to support the rapid blooming of synapses in childhood, helping a child’s brain to create new ways of thinking. Creativity helps your child to, literally, broaden their mind – giving them a better chance of being able to adapt and thrive as adults.
They strengthen their self-esteems
The development of new synapses created through creativity also helps develop a strong sense of self-esteem. Kids learn the satisfaction of making ideas come to life and the joy of having others appreciate their creations and performances. They learn they have control over the way they use their mind, their body and the materials in front of them – to create things and situations which improve their play or their everyday environment.
They also learn disappointments, frustrations and obstacles are commonplace in the creative process. But with the right nurturing, can be encouraged to either persevere or learn how to move past their mistakes.
They master new materials
The more chances are children are given to create, the more they learn about mastering new materials – and discovering the solutions and opportunities different materials provide. Materials might be as simple as pen and paper, or paint and craft bits, or wood and DIY tools, musical instruments or computers! There’s no one best medium for our kids to create with. Whether your child is painting, collaging or building levels on Minecraft, your child is learning about how different properties work together to create new ideas and effects.
They use problem-solving skills
If you’re new to uncovering the importance of creativity, you’d be forgiven for thinking kids creativity is all about learning to paint! But creativity is so much more. Creativity is the process of the use of our imagination to create new things – whether it’s new paintings or new recipes, songs, lego buildings, character designs, stories… Creativity is problem-solving in action. For our kids, these problems don’t need to be big! It could be as simple as solving the problem of: how do I get that shape to fit there? Or how do I create a colour for that tree? Or how do I build a vehicle that will hold these figures?
Every time your child uses creativity to solve a problem, they strengthen their confidence (and create those synapses!) to become better at problem-solving in the future too.
They discover their own interests
Creativity is also a wonderful process of self-discovery. Through opportunities to create, your child learns which creative outlets provide the best ways for self-expression, which reveal artistic giftings and give them a sense of joy! By simply having the chance to explore lots of different ways to create, your child has the chance to explore lots of different ways to adapt, cope and enjoy life.
They become innovators
Finally, in a time of global uncertainty, the true value of creativity has been revealed! Scientists searching for new answers, businesses needing to adapt, leaders thinking up new ways of living. A thriving future relies on innovators, and our children will be the next generation of innovators we need.
Excited to help your child learn through creativity? Our ‘Creative Heroes Club’ printable downloads were designed for family fun that will unleash the joys of open-ended creativity. Find out more about the first mission here.