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“THINK LEFT AND THINK RIGHT AND THINK LOW AND THINK HIGH. OH, THE THINGS YOU CAN THINK UP IF ONLY YOU TRY”
– DR. SEUSS
It’s fascinating to watch children completely enveloped in creative play—coloring, drawing and building playdough creations as colors explode around them in leaps and bounds. To many, this may not seem like a remarkable activity, but as kids allow their imaginations to take center stage, they’re actually developing their creative-thinking and innovative capabilities, along with many other benefits. Pretty amazing, right?
Here are a few other benefits of creativity:
Building Blocks to Cognitive Development
Problem-solving, imagination, critical thinking… they’re all cognitive skills necessary to keeping a competitive edge into today’s ever-changing world. And the creative process is vital to that development. According to research, experimentation during creative activities allows children to explore different options and develop new solutions2. For example, if your child wants to paint their picture green, but she only has blue, white, black and red, she has the freedom to experiment with mixing different colors until she discovers that different combinations of blue and yellow blend together to make various hues of the color green.
The ability to think in unusual ways is actually known as “divergent thinking” and it plays a pivotal role in developing creativity. “Creativity” is often thought of as limited to artistic endeavors, but it’s actually an essential part of everyday life. In an ever-changing world of infinite possibilities, divergent thinking is what sets your child apart from the rest, it’s a thought process that helps build and create….without it, innovation would cease to exist.
The adage, “Children are our future”, isn’t an arbitrary statement. They are truly in control of where things go. And they have choices—they can either become workhorses, manipulated by society, or the Edisons of their generation, working to build a new world instead of simply belonging to it. As parents, it’s our job to start them off on a path that leads them towards a bright, successful future. And creativity plays a huge part in that.
Self-confidence and Happiness
We all want the best for our children—for them to have a childhood where they feel loved, understood and acknowledged for who they truly are. But mostly, we just want them to be happy! By giving children the space and the encouragement to pursue their own passions and dreams, you’ll help instill self-confidence as well as an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance. This creates a natural culture of happiness that will have lasting effects well into their adulthood.
Research shows that happiness leads to a child becoming a more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive members of society1.
Nurtures Emotional Health & Self-expression
Creativity, when allowed to be expressed fully and without judgement, is one of the most fulfilling and freeing experiences for children. It gives them the opportunity to create something tangible from personal feelings and experiences—a beautiful reflection of their unique imaginations. It’s also the perfect activity to nurture their emotional health and ensure the enhancement of their lives as a well-rounded individual.
Strengthens Family Bonds
With each passing year we’re getting busier and busier, which translates into less and less family time. Turning off the tv, video games and phone, and doing something creative with your child will not only make them feel like they have your undivided attention, but also help strengthen family bonds. We often remember feelings, not things, from our childhood. So ensuring your child remembers the enduring love and appreciation you have for them can have lasting benefits well into adulthood.
1 Forbes: The Happiness – Success Connection
2 Penn State Cooperative Extension website