Creativity – The Best Form of Self Expression
Creativity is an essential part of a child’s life and environmental stimulation. It is the best form of self-expression, and unlike adults, children find more satisfaction in the process of creation rather than the finished work of art.
The sheer satisfaction children feel from being able to express themselves is in itself a reward.
Creativity is the freest form of self-expression and, for children, the creative process is more important than the finished product. There is nothing more fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves freely. The ability to be creative can do much to nurture your child’s emotional health. All children need to be creative, committing themselves to the effort and making whatever activity they are doing their own.
What’s important to remember in any creative activity is the process of self-expression. Innovative experiences help children express and cope with their feelings. Creativity also fosters mental growth in children by providing opportunities for trying out new ideas and new ways of thinking and problem-solving. Creative activities help acknowledge and celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of your children as well as offer excellent opportunities to individualize your parenting and focus on each of your children.
Opportunities for Creativity
To fulfil your child’s need for creativity and self-expression, be sure to provide activities that are based on their interests. Learn how to listen carefully to what your child is saying. Offer your child a range of creative materials and experiences: drawing, painting, photography, music, trips to museums or zoos, and working with clay, paper, wood, water and more. Allow your child time to explore materials and pursue new ideas. Don’t forget to take time to talk about these ideas over with other people, both adults and children.
Variety of Experience
Look for ways to provide multi-ethnic, multicultural, and other community experiences for children. The more variety of experiences children have in their lives, the wider their range of creative expression. The more personal experiences children have with people and situations outside of their environment, the more material they can draw on to incorporate in their play.
Some parents and teachers have a hard time encouraging creative expression, even though they understand and appreciate its benefits. Maybe they don’t feel creative themselves or are uncomfortable with the mess and materials. It’s best to let your child tell you about their creation rather than guessing. Try not to judge, evaluate, or compare your these creative expressions. A little assistance and direction can be helpful, but be careful not to interfere with your child’s creative efforts.
Fostering the Creative Process
To promote the creative process, encourage your child to make choices. Give him or her frequent opportunities and lots of time to experience and explore expressive materials. What your child learns during the creative process is most important. Show your support by appreciating and offering to help. Independence and control are essential components in the creative process. This is especially true when working with children with disabilities.
One of the most important types of creative activity for children is creative play. Creative play is expressed when children use familiar materials in new or unusual ways, and when children engage in role-playing and imaginative play. Nothing reinforces the creative spirit and nourishes a child’s soul more than providing large blocks of time to engage in spontaneous, self-directed play throughout the day. But many parents misunderstand and underestimate the value of play in the lives of children, forgetting that play fosters physical, mental, and social development. Play also helps children express and cope with their feelings. It helps develop each child’s unique perspective and individual style of creative expression. In addition, play provides an excellent opportunity for integrating and including children with disabilities.
Avoid dominating the play. Play should be the result of the child’s ideas and not directed by the adult. Try to foster your child’s abilities of expression through play, based on his or her inspirations, not yours. Your goal is to stimulate play and encourage satisfaction in playing with each other or by themselves. Focus on play. Plan for it, Encourage it. Learn how to extend children’s play through your comments and questions. Try to stimulate creative ideas by encouraging children to come up with new and unusual uses of equipment. Try to remain open to new and original ideas and encourage children to come up with more than one solution or answer. Avoid toys and activities that spell everything out for your child and leave nothing to the imagination.