01 June 2012

Developmental Psychology: Helping Children Use Their Creativity

Young children have fewer and fewer opportunities to submerge in total imagination. How come is is so? They have been distracted for a few decades now: Internet, video games,and  television to name a few. When I was a child, I can remember going outside and creating my own fun. Some children are very good at this concept, today....but it has become much less in the past twenty years.

Research shows that if you help foster creativity at home and (fellow teachers in the classroom too) you'll be surprised how children can literally learn the concept of creativity quickly. After all, children's brains are like sponges - they absorb everything! If you keep this concept in your mind, then Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Maria Montessori would be very proud and happy too! Their legacy in their famous theories lives on...here are a few techniques one can use at home or in school with children to help foster more creativity. After all, that's what employers and college professors are looking for IN your children once they are in the real world of work: creativity and out of the box thinkers!

That's Max working on his Montessori Sensory Homework with me this summer: 25 months old

1. Start enforcing less TV/Video/Internet times now. Children under age 2 should not be watching more than 15-20 minutes at a time for these reasons, these reasons and sadly these reasons. Children over 2 years old should be limited to 1-2 hours per day of the combined TV/Video/Internet time.

2. Give children down time. Free Play - inside or outside. It's imperative and Maria Montessori called it work. Children learn through play.

3.  Go on your own field trips! Watch them from a safe distance, but watch. Playground, parks, museums (there are many "free" places to go around your town - it even gives parents a chance to get creative themselves in finding these places to go). Children are great at parallel play in the toddler years (playing along side one another) and are free to explore the world around them. Piaget's stage of preoperational thought is in the works here!

4.  Avoid stepping in. Children learn to become better problem solvers when you avoid stepping in and interrupting their thought processes (Piaget, Montessori, Vygotsky). If they become bored in the process - let them be bored! It will help them learn to get inspired and create on their own! It's a part of innovative thinking.

5.  Be creative as a parent, teacher, nanny. Model what you would like to foster in your children.
Lobby for the arts in your preschools and schools. Use the parent-teacher associations to show the school boards this is what helps children use imaginative thinking, creative thinking. Help them discover what the arts are really all about. Like Art History, Natural Science? Where can you take children beyond the museums in your town? Get creative! Here is an example of what you might want to start up in your hometown, with your school board, or homeschooling group.

Happy Friday!
Prof. C

ATTENTION: My developmental summer classes: you'll need this article and it's study links for your exams.  (you're welcome!)

1 comment:

adult psychology said...

most children have a different creativity and their mind is always working..they always use their mind, they are also confused on what they see around them, so we elders should be careful in what we do and we say..