Children are naturally creative. They come with imaginations, and a desire to make things beautiful. Creativity has little to do with talent or skill, and more to do with thinking, imagining and discovering. It cannot only be found in art and music but in free play.
As children get older, caregivers should try to promote that natural creativity. Allowing children to be creative allows them to form their own ideas through discovery and exploration. How do they do this? Promoting creativity in preschool can be done naturally in a few ways.
There are numerous ways to invite creativity in preschool and the home. Give the child a blank piece of paper and crayons. Don’t tell them what to draw-let them decide. Studies have found that children who draw freely are better focused in learning tasks. When a child brings you their drawing, don’t ask them what it is-ask them to tell you about it, or ask them what they like best. Using open-ended responses allows them to evaluate their creativity themselves.
Another way is invite creativity is to turn on some music, throw in some instruments, pots, pans, and wooden spoons, and let them make music, or dance. Start a parade, let them wear silly hats, or march in different ways. Children at this age love to see adults get involved, so be sure to get silly with them!
To encourage creativity in preschool and with young children teachers must be able to turn over control to the children themselves. This means allowing and accepting work that some may not see as “right”. How do teachers do this? One way is to emphasize the process of a child’s work, instead of the product.
For example, let’s say you take your children outside, maybe on a walk around the neighborhood. You can talk to them about all they see outdoors. Point out details and the many colors in nature. When the children come back in you can give them paper and pencil, paints, or markers. Ask them to draw what they remember seeing. Each child’s picture will look different, because what stood out to them may be different from the other children in the room.
On another day, you may set out to have all the children paint a picture, or make a collage. The children are learning the process of the activity, the product from each child will look remotely different,-and this is okay!
Incorporating art into a classroom is easy. Art is usually a favorite for young children because they are naturally creative.
Teachers should allow children to explore art freely. An art area can consist of a table and shelves with supplies like glue, stickers, paper, crayons, and other materials. These items should be available for children to use throughout the day.
Keep an emphasis on the process of creating art, not the finished product. For young children the exploration and experimentation of art is more important than the product itself. To an adult a painting that has all the colors mixed together looks like a brown glob of paint, but to a child the process of painting was exciting.
Teachers who allow children to explore and experiment are giving the children in their classroom the freedom to be children! They learn from doing, and making mistakes. They learn to solve problems, and create new things. Fostering creativity in a classroom makes teaching young children more fun, and has long lasting rewards!