Importance of Creativity
Creativity is the process of generating or recognizing ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may help in problem-solving, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. “It is the freest form of self-expression”, says a teacher of Bodhi Bhavan, a top CBSE Board School in South Kolkata.
The creative activity of children allows teachers to learn about their thought processes and emotional functioning. A school’s curriculum should be set with an aim to provide opportunities to students to try out new ideas, and ingenious ways of thinking and problem-solving. Teachers should celebrate every child’s uniqueness and diversity.
Opportunities for Creativity
Bodhi Bhavan, a CBSE school in south Kolkata, has an array of extra-curriculum activities like Music, Yoga, Art and crafts, Clay Modeling, Dance classes and Workshops, Public Speaking and many more. These activities provide children with a wide range of creative materials and experiences. Annual cultural programs are also arranged where children can take part to showcase their talents.
Care must be taken not to force any activity on children on the pretense of creativity. This will only be regressive towards their development. Creative activities should initially be introduced to all children and they should be motivated to try them out. The teachers must then observe and analyze the activity of the children to find out who is interested in what. After identifying the interests of each child, the teachers should create personalized programs and activities to motivate them further.
Motivate the children to make their own choices. The process of creativity should be emphasized more than the finished product, as the knowledge and experience gained through the process is vital to their development. Appreciate the children’s effort and offer them support. The two important components of the creative process are independence and control.
Some tips for fostering creativity
Here are 5 tips from a teacher of Bodhi Bhavan, an English medium school in Kolkata, for parents to foster creativity –
Create scenarios – Encourage children to play games like house, zoo, farm, doctor, space station or school. Be a part of their narrative by assuming a role in their imagination and let them child lead your playtime together.
Verbal activities – Interactive verbal activities like rhymes and riddles can inspire and nurture creative minds. It also helps in improving your child’s vocabulary and phonics.
Ask questions that are open-ended and thought-provoking – Ask questions that provoke imaginative and creative thinking. Let your child know that his/her ideas are important and invite them to express his ideas and share his visions. Questions like, “What is your thought on….?” “What would happen if….?” “Is there any other way you can do this?”
Screen time should be limited – In the age of the internet, answers to questions are ready-made and can be found with some simple clicks. This can make your child’s mental faculties passive as they are not engaging in active problem-solving. Encourage your child to create something novel and different.
Arrange literacy activities – Try to make reading time exciting and memorable by discussing other possible scenarios or endings for the story.