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Be INSPIRED, BE CREATIVE

Creativeness and how it affects your child

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Be Inspired – Be Creative “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” –Albert Einstein Creativity plays an integral role in a child’s physical, emotional and cognitive development. Creativity includes a number of components such as imagination, originality, productivity, and problem solving. Unlike intelligence that results in the ability to score high at academics, the learning of creativity may not show any significant results in the child during the early childhood days. However, the foundation of creativity that were being developed at young stands out when the child grows into teenage and adulthood. All children were born with the potential of being creative and this unique skill can only be developed at the early stage of one’s lifespan. What is Creativity? Creativity has been defined in various ways. A useful definition of creativity in early childhood is provided by Mayesky in 1998, who suggested that “creativity is a way of thinking or acting or making something that is original for the individual and valued by that person or others”. Importance of the Creative Process Early childhood educators have long recognised the importance of creative activities and are passionate about promoting children's creativity. Most early childhood curricula have a strong focus on creative experiences – especially in music, movement and visual arts, because of their acknowledged role in enhancing children's intellectual, social and emotional development. Family influences on Creativity Parents have to understand that nurturing the child in all-rounded areas is an important process. Research studies do show that family does play an important part in the development of a child’s creativity. Parents have to acknowledge the important placement of providing opportunities, environment and being supportive in the process of cultivating the creativity in your child. Listen intently to what children are saying is important and always encourage the child to make his own choices and not yours. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling for children than being able to express themselves freely and openly without being judged. The ability of being able to create from one’s personal feelings and experience is a way of expressing one’s emotions. Provide your child with the environment and time to experience and explore. Emphasize on the process and not on the product. It is important to note that what a child learns and discovers during the process is vital to their development. Show your support for the creative process by appreciating and offering support for your children's efforts.

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Opportunities for Creativity Children need plenty of opportunities for creative play and creative thinking. Try to provide them with activities that they are interested in, or even their ideas. Be sure to offer them a wide range of creative materials and experiences. Being creative is more than drawing or painting. There’s music, exploring the environment, texture of materials or what’s around them like paper, clay or even their own shadows. The importance is to allow time for them to explore, think and create their own ideas. Allow them to plan, design, construct and even perhaps let them experiment their project ideas. Fostering the Creative Process • Be Positive: appreciate the effort and don’t tell the child what to do. Always cultivate the process for the child to THINK and show him how or what to do. • Allow Time: Allow the time for the child to explore, think and experiment. • Build Self-Efficacy in Your Children: Allow your child to express and experiment. Let him do things on his own and allow him to make mistakes. Respect his own ideas and resist the urge to accomplish the task for him. Children who believe in themselves and their abilities tend to be confident in their own decision making. • Let Your Children Ask “Why” Questions: Query is part of the learning process. It can be irritating and frustrating at times when the child asked the same question repetitively. Don’t brush them off by saying “I don’t know” or “Don’t ask stupid questions.” We have to understand that every one of us goes through the process of questioning to learn. Be patient that this is part of your child’s learning process and be positive that you are the most important teacher of your child’s life. Creative = Playing One of the most important types of creative activity for young children is “PLAYING”. Children learn through playing. It helps them to express and relieve themselves when they are at play. Research studies have shown that as early as infancy, a child’s physical development like sensory development or motor skills can be promoted by introducing toys to them. You should understand that play offers the child the opportunity to imagine, exercise their decision making and interact with others. We have to understand the fact that for a child, playing is important and the opportunity to play freely is vital to the development of the emotions and health.

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If you wish to contribute to the magazine, we will love to hear from you. Do email us at babywebnme@gmail.com For advertising enquiries, email us at babywebnme@gmail.com While every care is taken in production of the magazine, the editor and its team assume no responsibility for any inaccuracies and omission, which might arise. Opinions by the contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the editorial team. The articles in the magazine are for references only.

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BabyWebnMe - April 2011