However, between the ages of 5 and 15, a child’s creative capacity drops by 86% (if nothing is done about it).
Because all of us have the ability to be creative and use that creativity in multiple ways to fulfill our dreams.
Now and in the future, so that they become the adult they dream of.
Discover in this post the importance of creativity for children and a multitude of tips to help them think “outside the box”.
Creativity and children: unmarried couple?
Lets start by the beginning. Creativity and children seem to be two naturally related terms.
We think that a child, just by being a child, is already creative.
Well, it ‘s true . If you are surrounded by children, surely you have been surprised a thousand times with their hilarious occurrences .
And yet, the response they often receive to this proposal is: silence.
And it is that creativity is more complex than it seems . A child is creative by nature, yes. But he usually does not understand the concept in depth, nor does he understand that creativity is not a magical quality, but rather an ability that he can (and should) develop.
Creativity and Imagination in children
Do you want to check the creative capacity of a child compared to the imagination of an adult?
Just ask any child how many uses a clip can have. You are sure to get more than ten imaginative, fun and surprising ideas.
Ask the same question to an adult and see how panic takes over their face.
This is so because children are true divergent thinkers . With an innate ability to produce creative ideas freely, generously and without being limited by their own self-criticism.
Creativity in children
It’s proven: 98% of 5-year-olds are creative geniuses .
These are the results of a study carried out by George Land and Beth Jarman in 1968, in which 1,600 5-year-old children were given the same test that NASA uses to detect innovative leaders among its employees.
The results shook the pedagogical sector. And it is that almost all of the children evaluated were creative wonders.
Specifically, 98% reached the maximum score in creativity.
So they decided to extend the study and repeat it 5 years later.
The result surprised again. Only 30% of the children were still highly creative.
And another 5 years later? Unfortunately, the creative genius rate had dropped to 12% by the time those kids turned 15.
Of course, something was up.
Why children lose creativity?
Two factors are the main causes of loss of creativity in children. One is biological and the other is educational .
The first reason is the functioning of the human brain. Specifically, the frontal cortex .
This is the part of the brain responsible for our most developed cognitive abilities, such as mastering language, solving problems, adapting to the environment, or planning actions to achieve goals.
As we age (and especially from the second decade of life) our frontal cortex evolves and becomes more “rational” .
Thanks to this change we perform better analyzes and make better decisions in our adult lives.
But one of its negative side effects is that we begin to lose our ability to think divergently . Which is a real creativity killer.
Now days Lack of creativity in children
The second reason for the progressive lack of creativity in children is educational.
Yes. The traditional educational system stifles the creative genius of children.
And it makes sense. The school needs to teach children to conform to patterns, adapting to the academic path outlined .
Thus, if a child draws a blue tree, he is corrected. The trees are green and brown. That is the expected response.
The result is that numerous investigations indicate that the creativity of children decreases with each year that they spend in the educational system , going from being indomitable geniuses of creativity to being integrated into more rigid and convergent behaviors.
Of course it is necessary for the child to learn these group behaviors and acquire the ability to follow systems. But you have to be especially careful that this does not kill her creativity.
Because it is proven that adults, if we do not pay specific attention to the subject, destroy the creative soul of children with our vision.
Importance of creativity in children
But really, what is creativity? According to Wikipedia:
“Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas or concepts, new associations between known ideas and concepts, which usually produce original solutions.
So we can conclude that creativity is:
- The ability to see (many) things in a new way.
- Break the limits by going beyond the information and material provided.
- Think unconventionally.
- Create something unique that did not exist before.
And when we refer to children, how do they show their creativity? Because there is an indisputable fact: creativity is not the same for children as it is for adults.
The key to this difference is how it changes our way of seeing the mistakes we make throughout a process.
For adults, error is synonymous with failure . The fear of being wrong paralyzes your creative genius.
Creativity test for children
Although it is clear that all children enjoy high creative potential, not all start from the same initial level.
To determine this innate ability, it is important to make a previous clarification: Intelligence is undoubtedly a key factor in a child’s creativity. But it is only one factor .
A high IQ does not guarantee creativity.
There are several tests to measure children’s creativity, but without a doubt the most prestigious is the Children’s Creativity Test (TCI)
Created by Ellis Paul Torrance in 1965, it establishes 7 indicators of creativity in children:
- Curiosity: It is rare to find a truly curious child who is not very creative.
- Flexibility: Creative children often try to find more than one approach to a situation.
- Sensitivity to problems: a creative child is quick to perceive inaccuracies in the information he has received.
- Redefinition: find new uses for everyday objects.
- They are individualistic: they can work alone without the need for adult guidance.
- Originality: your proposals are rare. They do not copy or imitate.
- Insight: These are children who spend a lot of time developing ideas and their possibilities.
How to encourage children
Parents and teachers are in the best position to help children understand what creativity is and the many reasons why it is relevant in their lives.
But above all, the goal is to change the view that creativity is an innate gift of great geniuses.
Creativity is a skill . And as such it requires preparation, incubation, lighting and hard work.
Encouraging a child’s creativity implies actively participating in his learning, encouraging him to investigate, experiment, tolerate failure, be persistent and non-conformist.
Creativity techniques for children
There is a popular belief that the best way to encourage children’s creativity is to simply get out of the way and let it flow freely.
Although it is true that children are curious and divergent by nature, they need the support of adults to develop their creative abilities and reach their full potential in creativity.
Making crafts, composing songs, inventing choreographies, drawing, construction games, inspiring books.
But beyond the concrete activity, the important thing is to encourage divergent thinking in the child . The one who says that, for a single problem, there is no single solution.
If you want to develop a child’s creativity, bet on supporting their nonconformity, curiosity, persistence and willingness to take risks in everyday situations .
Strategies to develop in children
And creativity does not come out of nowhere. Great ideas aren’t magic, they come from deep wells of information.
Without knowledge, a child cannot use his memory to find interesting ideas to put together in unexpected ways.
You need references to base yourself on. Knowledge .
For example, Picasso created Cubism by combining various influences: Cézanne, El Greco, and primitive African masks, combined with mathematical studies on the fourth dimension.
Or a clothing designer must know all the possible fabrics and patterns that he could use… but he will also need the ability to sew .
So you have to enhance the child’s knowledge, but also their practical skills.
Without skills the child will be able to imagine a painting or dress, but will not be able to bring the dream to life.
That is the focus of (for example) our programming courses . We combine technical knowledge with practical programming skills. Only by uniting both parts will the child be able to create the application, website or video game that inspires her creativity.
Simply put, flexible, divergent-thinking-oriented learning opportunities nurture a child’s creativity.
Creativity activities for children
If you are looking for specific activities that encourage children’s creativity, you should think of all those that allow them to see things around them in a new way.
Children are creative when:
- They try new ideas.
- They value other possibilities of doing things.
- They take materials, manipulate and transform them.
- They take things apart and put them back together.
- They fantasize and imagine.
- They solve problems.
- They discover things.
Some of the activities that allow them to put these skills into practice are: writing stories, programming video games, drawing, knitting or cooking as a family.
Art and Creativity for children
There is no doubt that art and creativity are intimately related. They could not exist one without the other .
The greatest advantage that art has in fostering children’s creativity is that it allows them to materialize their ideas.
With only a box of colored pencils and a simple sheet of paper, the child can express his desires, emotions or fantasies.
Therefore, it is important to encourage children to communicate through drawing . Of course, we encourage you not to leave the child alone with the activity, but to guide and stimulate its creativity. Suggest subjects to draw, cut out characters and put together an improvised story with him or her.
Two tips for leading art activities that foster children’s creativity:
- The first advice is: patience. Remember that creativity is something new for the creator, even more so when he is a child. It doesn’t matter that we all know that red and yellow make orange, when the child is allowed to discover it for himself, it will be an unforgettable moment.
- The second piece of advice is not to slow down (too much) artistic activity for fear of staining everything. The deal is to try to be careful and clean up after everyone. But do not suffer at the moment!
Creativity drawings for children
When introducing a child to the world of drawing, the goal is not for him to become a great artist. If not provide a space and a tool to communicate more deeply.
And it is that drawing allows younger children to communicate their emotions and feelings (both positive and negative) at an age in which they may have difficulties with the use of words.
Here are some creativity drawing ideas for kids:
- Your favorite characters from animated series.
- Simple geometric shapes.
- Christmas and birthday greetings.
- Make your own version of a photograph.
- We are sure you will love them.
Creativity videos for children
The audiovisual format is a fantastic ally to encourage children’s creativity.
On the internet you will find a multitude of educational videos developed especially for the little ones. The craft tutorials are a very useful support for the adult to direct the artistic session with greater confidence (if cutting, pasting and coloring is not your thing).
But we recommend you go one step further and encourage the child to stand on the other side of the screen. To record and edit your own videos of him.
Adolescence is the ideal time for them to learn to handle a camera with ease, stand in front of it and edit videos to be able to create all those stories they imagine.
Precisely with this objective, at Spacetechies we teach a complete Digital Content course where they learn all this and much more, always with a pedagogical approach and adapted to their age.
Creativity games for children
It goes without saying that the offer of creativity games for children today is practically infinite .
The way to check if a toy is really creative is to see if :
- Provides more than one use: If it only allows a single game mode, then there is no creativity in it.
- It does not present correct and incorrect ways of doing things: in creativity there are no mistakes, everything is fine.
- You don’t expect the result to be the same for everyone who uses it.
Think of “lifelong” toys with which the hours flew by: plasticine, a blackboard, kitchens or a simple doll.
They must be games without instructions and that allow a multitude of possibilities.
How to Encourage Creativity
As parents, it’s not so much about “teaching” creativity to children as it is about creating a fertile environment in which their creativity takes root, grows, and flourishes.
In addition to offering the child creative activities appropriate for his age , there are some habits that can be incorporated into the family’s daily life.
Respect all attempts at creativity by the child, regardless of the end result.
Allow the child to explore and make decisions freely.
Teach them art : discover musical styles, visit museums, teach them poetry.
Let them get bored and start their imagination.
Activities to stimulate creativity in children from 2 to 3 years old
In children of such a young age, the best way to encourage their creativity is through crafts that allow them to imagine and, at the same time, develop psychomotor skills .
An easy way to do this is to use everyday objects and recycled items to make crafts. Here are some ideas .
Build puppets with empty rolls of kitchen paper.
Collect fallen tree leaves and prepare a collage with them.
Paint macaroons with tempera paint and string them into a necklace.
Design a house for the dolls from a shoe box.
You will enhance the child’s creativity, you will have a fun time and learn environmental values.
What more could you want! 🙂
Creativity games for elementary school children
School age is a perfect time to stimulate children’s creativity through creative and cooperative games.
The key to any creative game is to focus on enjoying the process of expressing yourself freely. Thanks to these creative experiences, the child has the opportunity to imagine new ideas, try other ways of doing things and solve problems without fear of error.
Here are 10 creative game ideas for elementary school children:
- Building blocks.
- Association games.
- Cards to tell stories.
- Guess the name of movies.
- Chinese shadows.
- Program a robot.
- Chained words.
The important thing is to discover to the child the endless creative games that he can do, until he finds those with which he truly enjoys and time flies by.
Creativity workshops for children
Creativity workshops for children are the best way to discover new creative games and activities.
Although the child’s creativity is enhanced at school and at home, it is in these specific workshops that the creative potential of the little ones is deepened.
At Spacetechies we organize several special creativity workshops throughout the year: days without school , summer camps , Easter , Half terms or Christmas .
In these intensive workshops the child enjoys a first contact with various creative disciplines: music, 3D design, photography, robot construction, programming or technological crafts.
With materials and resources that they do not have at home, children take their first steps in various artistic disciplines and often discover new hobbies.
Perfect workshops for restless minds who want to develop their STEAM skills , in which curiosity about the world of technology and a passion for inventing and creating are fostered.
Phrases about creativity in children
As we have explained throughout this article, children are deeply creative by nature.
It is we, the adults, who must learn (or remember) to look at the world with their eyes. Without prejudice, freely and without fear of making mistakes.
This is how we can develop our creative abilities and enjoy the pleasure of creating new things while expressing our unique way of being.