How-to Foster Creative Thinking?
Creativity involves the ability to see multiple solutions, and the ability to find them relatively quickly. Cultivate your child’s interests by exposing her to a variety of activities, and allow her to see things differently.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams
Robert Sternberg defined creativity as: “thinking that is novel and produces ideas that are of value.” Creativity involves the ability to see multiple solutions to a problem – ability to think divergently. Creativity requires the ability to find multiple solutions relatively quickly. However, convergent thinking allows finding the correct solution for the problem.
Discover your child’s interests
Observe your child’s interests. Ask her about things that she enjoys doing or might enjoy doing. Play with her and participate in different activities, and notice things that cause her eyes to light up or glaze over. Expose her to a variety of topics by arranging a wide range of activities such as a trip to a play, a dance performance, an art gallery or a museum. Cultivate her interests by providing her with activities, toys and materials. If she enjoys doodling on paper, for example, provide her with art supplies such as sketch pads, coloring pencils and watercolor paint. Remember that her interests might shift as children love to try out different things until they find their niche.
Foster creative thinking
Allow your child to see things differently. She does not have to accept things because everybody else does. She will have to “defy the crowd” and overcome resistance. Willingness to grow by branching out and taking sensible risks is critical; however, she should not be discouraged by failure. Remember that it’s possible to be creative by doing things that she really cares about. Give her ample time for incubation, reflection and selection to develop creative ideas. Let mistakes be opportunities for further learning.
Help her understand that it is not possible to be creative without being knowledgeable; however, knowledge may also hinder creative thinking. Help her critique her own ideas and decide whether they are worthy of pursuit. Help her realize that generating creative ideas is not enough, as ideas have to be “sold” to others.
Johnson, J. (2004). How to Spark Your Child’s Creative Spirit. Jet Magazine. U.S.A.
Levine, L. & Munsch, J. (2010). Child Development: An Active Learning Approach. SAGE Publications. Thousand Oaks, California.