Creativity may be defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in problem solving, establishing clear communication with others, and engaging ourselves with others. Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. It requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life.
To be creative, one must be open to view things in a new way or from a different perspective. Among other things, one needs to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Creativity is measured not only by the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. It is, therefore, the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely not necessarily occurring by only change; but more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things unknown.
Encouraging children to make their own choices is imperative. Our primary emphasis on the result needs to shift to the process of exploring and experience- creativity! This can be achieved by showing support and appreciation to the efforts put in the work.
This can be achieved through creative play, as it expresses the child’s individual responses to the environment. Play is a self-expressive, open-ended, and free form of freedom that allows children to experiment on the old and build new ideas. Simulation of creative ideas must be encouraged by means of thorough questions and comments, while asking children to dwell on new and unusual applications of a toy or a thing.
Nature is the best teacher in the early stages of a child's development. Given the pandemic we have all faced, it may seem scary, but we must take all the precautions and let our children benefit from what nature has to offer . Our environment is constantly evolving, creating boundless opportunities for growth, discovery and problem solving. It is the natural world (or as we say real world) that inspires children to be thoughtful, inquisitive and develop their young minds.
Asking questions that are open-ended and thought provoking triggers a child's imaginative and creative thinking. It is seen as an effective medium that enables children to express their ideas and visions. This also reinforces them that, their ideas are important. For example: "What do you think would happen if...?"
"Can you suggest some other ways to do this?"
Ensure that there is enough unstructured and unscheduled time for children as this allows them to be imaginative and creative. In doing so, be mindful of cultivating positive mental habits such as gratitude, grit, and optimism.
Children are easily influenced by adults and their surroundings. It is therefore as important to reflect on the effects of their actions, as it is to immerse themselves in their little projects. Children must be encouraged to reflect by asking open ended questions, collaborate with them, and share perspective on problems and problem-solving.