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