Eleven Areas Where Children Can Be Creative
It is often said, “Being creative is the gold standard of life!” However, research shows that since the 90’s there has been a steady decline in children’s ability to be creative. Unfortunately, compared to the rest of the world, the United States has been going in the wrong direction when it comes to children’s creative thought and actions. This trend can be reversed if parents and teachers consider any of the following that would instill a good dose of active endeavor in the lives of our kids. The key is for the adult to guide, then step away and let the child learn to say, “I can do it myself.” At our top-rated NJ private school, we believe in teaching students to love to learn on their own.
- Play is one of the most human activities, no matter what age. It encourages flexible imaginative “out of the box” thinking. In play, the mind takes off, and we visit new places and adventures. Run, hide, escape and have fun.
- In or out of school, arts programs allow for unstructured pleasure in music, drama, dance, and singing. Self-expression is the highest during these times. Coding, writing lyrics, creating a poem, and acting in a skit all put the mind in an active mode.
- In school, teachers must engage students in more than informational questions. A challenging project ignites curiosity and pushes thought. An exercise that asks students to improve a process, solve a problem, or build a model will inspire deep thought. For example, a project such as reconfiguring the states’ borders, with all states having a proportional population relative to its area, provides lessons in both math and civics.
- Using blocks or Legos, young designers can build structures using their imaginations. Repurposing boxes and lawn furniture, for instance, can create wonderful castles and forts. Starting a stamp collection or solving a puzzle are also good group endeavors. Designing a board game is a way to involve a number of subject areas.
- Adventures can easily move outdoors playing games such as hopscotch, 4-squares, dress-up, or simply digging up rocks.
- Hands-on lessons and project-based learning bring in real-world situations. At Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, N.J., students work in their Explorations class on projects such as “Removing plastics from our world,” “Living on an island, what are our needs?” or “An alternative world – living without TV, cell phones, or computers.”
- Recreational activities always bring opportunity for fun, exercise, and creativity. Sports, tag, and made-up games ignite the brain to action. Even kids in the Congo get creative by playing soccer using a rolled up towel for a ball.
- Using the imagination for improvisational dance, comedy, or debate allows for freedom of expression.
- At Oak Hill Academy, the school’s eighth graders do a project using a method called the “The Six Thinking Hats.” Working together, students investigate a problem from six points of view: white – objective; red – emotional, angry; black – serious; yellow – positive/optimistic; green – creative; and blue – organized thinking/control.
- Give responsibility. At Oak Hill Academy, the student council gets input from all students. They are responsible for distributing morning announcements and for saying the pledge to the American flag. Students helped formulate ideas concerning Covid-19 protocol, and one student suggested that the school install water-bottle filling stations.
- Last, but not least, is reading. Reading transcends all aspects of life. It opens up the entire world to us with its history, wonders, and possibilities. When we read, ideas are generated, curiosity is inspired, and creativity soars.
Using simple every day opportunities, we can encourage creativity both at home and at school. The belief is that if a child can do something alone, let them! Active doing is the best way to enhance learning. The mistakes and the unusual are all part of the process. We must not pound the creativity out of our kids by always protecting them or doing things ourselves. Satisfaction comes from trying and eventually succeeding.
Oak Hill Academy is a NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Oak Hill Academy is dedicated to a traditional, challenging, and caring learning environment that encourages comprehensive thought processes and deep understandings; thus promoting the wholesome intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical lifetime growth of our students. To learn more about how we are the best Private School in New Jersey, visit us online at www.oakhillacademy.com , or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we post more topics.