The importance of creativity for children

 

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By Gregory Cheadle aged 14

I have always thought that creativity and imagination are very important to the development of the human race. As I have watched children I teach, my own children and my nieces and nephews paint, create with fondant, play dough and clay and a myriad of other mediums, I have seen how it stimulates many of them to think in different ways. How creating an aeroplane out of clay, or even out of paper, starts a process of how to make the various important pieces required for flight, how they work and, most importantly in this case, how to make the aeroplane aerodynamic and keep it in the air. Some children like to work in groups and some like to work alone, but there is little doubt in my mind that all children benefit from an opportunity to be creative.

I also firmly believe, that children need down time. Time to lie on the grass looking at the clouds and seeing the frequently changing creatures, figures and shapes that are formed by the wind blowing on the clouds. They need time to think, to plan and to imagine. My own children spent many happy hours in our giant sandpit. I showed them how to make all sorts of things from the sand, aeroplanes that they could sit on with steering wheels they could turn, tunnels, forts and mountains with valleys. I bought them soldiers and pirates that they could use in the sand – they used these to play out wars, ambushes, marches and pirate skulduggery. My Mother was also really good at imaginative play with my boys. She taught them how to make a pirate island in the children’s play pool. The boys would collect rocks and make mountains and ridges. The would gather plants from the garden (under supervision) and make forests and parks. We had a set of toy boats for the bath. They would sit happily for hours sailing these on the pond, landing on the islands and planning adventures.

I read an amazing article recently about creativity on aboutkidshealth. This article states that “Creativity fuels the ability to problem-solve, innovate, and explore new and unfamiliar areas. It is the hallmark of ingenuity, which leads to successes in the world of art, science, and technology. Children who are encouraged to think creatively exhibit higher self-esteem and motivation.” This short summary encapsulates everything I have every thought about the benefits of creativity for children (and adults too). If you would like to read more, the full article can be found at http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/FamilyandPeerRelations/life-skills/Pages/Creativity-raise-creative-thinker.aspx.

This Sunday past, I arranged to go and assist the teachers in our local Sunday School with an Easter egg painting morning. I bought white candy coated Easter eggs and food colouring in red, yellow, blue and green. Fortunately, I had a stroke of genius and decided that instead of paint brushes, which result in the food colouring running and streaking, I would let the children use cottonwood ear buds to apply the food colouring to their eggs. I also poured the food colouring onto a ball of cottonwool and this helped to reduce the mess and staining of clothing.

The children really enjoyed this activity and I have set out some of their lovely designs below.

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I was very pleased with the success of this activity.

I also received some photographs of the baby ducks that I blogged a tutorial for a few weeks ago. A friend of mine’s children made the ducks and they came out so well.

My original tutorial for the ducks is set out below:

How to make a cute Easter duck out of fondant tutorial

Robbie and Michael Cheadle are co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Series of books.

Follow Robbie Cheadle at:

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Plus.google: https://plus.google.com/105609586198905397891

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

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63 thoughts on “The importance of creativity for children

  1. A very inspiring post, Robbie and I love the eggs and your son’s collage (I’m a big fan of collage). As an only child I used to spend a lot of time playing alone, reading and making up stories, and I guess I’m still doing it all these years later. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Olga. I came from a family of four children but there was a four year age gap between me and my next sister down. I also used to play on my own a lot and I read extensively. I always loved to draw and used to make presents for my family for Easter and Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Although everything pointed out in this post regarding the fostering of creativity and imagination in children is undoubtedly true, public schooling, in turn, does everything it can to stifle such wondrous virtues. I believe this is why American culture has been rendered all but bankrupt.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The elite bankers running this world don’t want to produce artists, scientists, or entrepreneurs from the proletariat, since they already draw those from their own ranks. Rather, they set up the public school system to produce primarily workers, and among the best of the working classes, middle-managers to oversee the rest of the workers. That is why the arts and music are always the first programs to get cut from the school budgets. When you here the phrase ‘children are the most precious resource’, that is code for human resources, or, workers and future tax payers.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. As a former director of a child development center, I stressed to my staff the importance of creativity. What struck me was reading an article about coloring a picture of an elephant. You don’t learn what it feels like, how it smells, what his/her eyes to you. Always let children create! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So true Robbie about creativity being important for children. It stretches their minds and gets them thinking outside the box 🙂 And you never know if there’s a young writer in the making! When you described the pirate island project it made me smile – arrrr 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with you about creativity – so crucial to young minds. I also believe that it stimulates their minds in ways that schoolwork and other play does not. Great post and those ducks are amazing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful post Robbie.. when I compare my childhood of roaming countryside and coast, building forest camps and other outdoor activities with what many children are allowed to do today .. it is vital that even within school and the home environment they need the freedom to stimulate their imaginations. Love the pirate island idea.. given me some inspiration in what to do with our jungle of a garden!! Will put in the blogger this evening. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was so happy to see that Sally featured this post, Robbie.

    Exercising creativity – throughout life, but especially when it is fostered when we are children – is more important to healthy brain development than most people realize. We could make a credible argument that it needs to be the LAST element cut from our schools rather than the first.

    Recent studies on creative play have shown that, in its absence, many other connections never get made – sometimes with disastrous results (like the horrendous “Texas Tower” murders years ago – studying the importance of play began when one researcher discovered that he – and other mass murderers – had been restricted from play throughout their childhoods).

    Studies show measurable changes in brain structures with creative play – in rats, primarily, but in people as well. They are often referred to as “enrichment” studies because it’s difficult to impossible to get funding for “creativity” or “play.” By the way, these play researchers are also returning amazing results with individuals with dementia when creativity is fostered.

    Apparently, FUN activities are nature’s way of making sure we develop as we are designed (not that we actually needed scientific studies to see the difference in the lives of children who are mentored creatively.)

    Like I’ve said before – you are an amazing human being.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Madelyn, for taking the time to write this lovely and informative comment. I didn’t know about this link between murderers and the lack of playtime but I do know that children that are abused, especially boys, burn different pathways in their brains that makes them more prone to becoming lacking in empathy, love and kindness. I do try to teach children about art, kindness, creativity and show them how to make things. It gives them a lot of pleasure and empowers many of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. According to science, you are ALSO helping them to become creative thinkers across the board – more likely to “think outside the box.” Some have seen differences even in the free play activities in children who have been “mentored” in creativity (as well as those who have been read to by their parents) and those who have not. Makes sense, tho’.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Fabulous post, Robbie. I remember one incident when my friend’s son was 6 year’s old… He’d received a tool kit for Christmas, and the next time his dad was working in the garage, he was ready. He put on his baseball cap backward, grabbed his little tool box, and as he started down the basement stairs, he hollered up to his mum, “Send me down a beer, would ya?” You’re so right about creativity sparking imagination, a vital element to children’s development and their contribution to the human race as adults 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder about loss of creativity these days. When I was young, we had no electronic toys. We made scooters from old pieces of wood, and dug tiny ‘trenches’ for our toy soldiers, in the local green areas. I used to ‘help’ my Mum bake cakes (so I could lick the spoon) and watch my Dad make things.
    Your train is great. My grandson would love that!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for popping by, Pete. The reason I felt compelled to write this post as that I fear that a loss of creativity and free time for our children will ultimately translate into a loss of forward momentum. Creativity is a vital part of innovation.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful post, Robbie. “there is little doubt in my mind that all children benefit from an opportunity to be creative” — I couldn’t agree more.
    At the very beginning, I was quite taken with Gregory’s artwork. Then you went on to show us one inspiring creation after another. Huge hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you, Teagan. Both my boys are quite creative and artistic and I enjoy making fun art things with them. I love creating with small children. It is wonderful to see their enjoyment and watch their lovely ideas take shape.

    Liked by 1 person

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