This is a question I have been intrigued with for many years. I have heard it said that creativity is something you have or don’t have. In other words you are either born with it or without it. That in itself has bothered me to no end simply because it implies that you either have it or you don’t. If that’s the case then why take a creative writing course, art class, music lesson, dance, baseball, football, etc.? Really why practice at anything?

I think our ability to be creative starts at birth and grows as we learn to play. At first it may be by our self and then it progresses with others. It develops as we mature in age and in relationships. Dr. Stuart Brown has done extensive research in the field of play and its benefits and detriments to a child’s development; they are well documented in his book called, “Play”. Here are links to his websites and Ted Talks.
Website: http://www.nifplay.org/about_us.html
Below are links to his TED Talk:
• http://www.amazon.com/Play-Shapes-Brain-Imagination-Invigorates/dp/1583333789/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340226987&sr=1-1&keywords=stuart+brown
• http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital.html
They are absolutely eye opening to the element of play in a child’s development and growth towards creativity.

A child’s creativity starts with how they think and solve problems. It is developed by what they encounter at home, school, and on the playground. We have the means to develop a child’s creativity with instilling a few encouragements into their daily rituals. It will help the child to become more confident and self-assured.

Here are some simple tasks that will help instill creative growth in a child.
• Allow your child to make simple choices such as what to wear, eat, read, etc.
• Let your child learn to be independent by entertaining themselves without watching television or using other devices.
• Grow their imagination through effective use of books, blocks, crafts, etc.
• Give the child the opportunity to engage in creative thoughts and ideas through conversations.
• Ask the child interesting questions they can answer with creative imaginative answers.
• Set up creative, engaging thought-provoking play scenarios with the child.
• Get down on their level- make a connection with the child on their playing terms and field.
• Let them engage with you by telling tales and stories to you.

By developing an environment that promotes creative vision, talk, and play the child will be provided with the tools to be creative in their thoughts and deeds.

With the increased numbers of working mothers there is a greater necessity for fathers and/or childcare workers to become more involved in the care and growth of our young children. It then becomes imperative everyone be made aware of the responsibility rearing a child entails. Since our society has become so media entrenched with computers, TV, tablet devices, cell phones, etc. it has become convenient to place a child down with a device and think it’s an educational product or process. In my research I have found the reality is it’s the farthest from the truth. The child sits and observes, not engaging the brain to process and figure out or to use the imagination to problem solve or find creative solutions.

We must recognize that the roles we play in the development of our child’s life set the stage for his or her success for the rest of their lives.

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