Saturday, 16 March 2013

Creating Creativity

Are we waiting for creativity to happen on its own?

'A gentle breeze from Hushabye Mountain
Softly blows o'er lullaby bay.
It fills the sails of boats that are waiting-
Waiting to sail your worries away.
It isn't far to Hushabye Mountain
And your boat waits down by the quay.
The winds of night so softly are sighing--
Soon they will fly your troubles to sea.
So close your eyes on Hushabye Mountain.
Wave good-bye to cares of the day.
And watch your boat from Hushabye Mountain
Sail far away from lullaby bay.'

Some children are naturally creative. They will instigate imaginative play situations without outside stimulus. Most, however, will need to be inspired. It's our job to help children to find their creative selves. Nothing is more important for the soul, for calmness, for wellbeing. Creativity allows us to leave our inprint on the world and give joy to others.

Imagination is stimulated through exposure to outside influences like words, images or even people. Children will tap into these sources to create dramatic play situations, play spaces, artworks, and even their own stories, songs or dances. Children will want to dress up and experience different roles.

We don't only want to teach children to reproduce reality in their dramatic play and artwork, we also want to teach them to be able to suspend reality. Children need to understand the difference between the real and the unreal so that they can have perspective in their lives and so that they can evolve into adult creators.

We want to give the world fiction writers, poets, painters, musicians, playwrights, architects, landscapers, children's book authors and designers. We also want to make creativity come naturally to children so that they can enjoy it for its own sake.

We need input to allow output to happen. We need to expose children to beautiful words and beautiful images. Children's books are fantastic for stimulating the imagination. We need to follow children's interests but we can also create their interests. We can construct play experiences from children's literature. We can tell stories, sing songs, expose children to music, theatre, poetry, paintings and sculpture. We can provide a learning environment filled with interesting objects.

This is fun for the children and fun for us. We can model creativity then we can stand back and watch creativity happen. Creativity means anything can happen. Children may seize on an experience and take it in a completely different direction. They may surpass our creative vision or our expectations. This is when the excitement begins. Be available to provide resources and be ready to document.

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