Six Ways to Promote Creativity in Children

Six Ways to Promote Creativity in Children

An Introduction to the Center for Childhood Creativity and the CREATE Framework

  • C - Child-Directed

    R – Risk-Friendly

    E – Exploratory

    A – Active

    T – Time for Imagination

    E – Exchange of Ideas

There is a common myth that creativity is an elusive and inborn talent. In reality, the research tells a different story. Many people wish they were more creative, and in fact, creativity is a malleable skill that can be developed in early childhood.

That’s the idea that drives the work we do at the Center for Childhood Creativity (CCC). We know that—compared to traits including IQ, personality, and political orientation—creativity is relatively low in heritability. The environment has a tremendous impact on creativity and parents and caregivers can play a critical role in shaping creative thinking in the early years.

Children have unlimited creative potential. They are curious, playful, imaginative, and open to new experiences. In fact, some studies find that children are better creative problem solvers than adults because young children tend to imagine and explore more possibilities and that often leads to more creative solutions.

We are excited to share CREATE, our framework for designing experiences that promote creative problem solving in children, in a series of six articles in the coming months. As a preview of what’s to come, here are the six elements of CREATE and how they relate to playful learning:
  • C – Child-Directed
    Let children take the lead during playtime, exploring topics or engaging in activities that they choose. Child-directed learning environments motivate children to learn because the topic is of genuine interest, and not because they expect some reward at the end.

  • R – Risk-Friendly
    Encourage children to take risks by setting up age-appropriate challenges or a new activity they may be hesitant to try. Learning how to assess and manage risk from a young age is linked to increased confidence and creativity.

  • E – Exploratory
    Set up activities where children can tinker and take things apart. During these types of exploratory play experiences, children will discover more about how things work and be inspired to come up with new ideas.

  • A – Active
    Through fun, active physical movement and exercise, children are not only strengthening their bodies, but also enhancing learning and boosting their creativity.

  • T – Time for Imagination
    Time for imagination and pretend play allows children to come up with original ideas and bring them to life, as well as practice self-regulation and empathy, and build creativity.

  • E – Exchange of Ideas
    With any type of play experience, it’s important to incorporate opportunities for conversation. When children can engage in an exchange of ideas through conversation and collaboration, it often leads to the most creative and innovative outcomes.

The mission of the Center for Childhood Creativity, the research and advisory division of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) is to transform research into early learning experiences that promote creative problem solving. For us, this means taking the most innovative and current academic research on how children learn and turning important findings into tools and resources for parents and educators. In this way, we think about our work as building an important link between research and practice.

 

  • C - Child-Directed

    R – Risk-Friendly

    E – Exploratory

    A – Active

    T – Time for Imagination

    E – Exchange of Ideas

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