How-to Foster Creative Thinking?

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

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (ver­sion 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Down­load the lat­est ver­sion here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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.

Ref­er­ences:

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.