Creativity, Imagination and Kids

I’m going to make a bold statement here. I think all people are creative.

There, I said it. Before you disagree, let’s talk this one through.

If we can’t necessarily agree about all adults being creative, perhaps we can start with the children. All children are creative, right?

From my current sample size of two and my years as a teacher I would say that yes. All children start out with a creative spirit.

Never have I noticed or tuned in as much as I have with my own small people though. I mean, seriously, Ewan’s creativity as a boy nearing age three, amazes me. He sets up the most elaborate playscapes and scenarios. Some based in reality, others purely imaginary. It’s extraordinary, really.

I mean, check this out:

Here we have a auto garage, mechanic, and a car (with a flat tire) up on blocks. And Ewan played with it for hours. Chatting, having conversations. It’s amazing, really, the amount of focus he can have.

So, if that’s where we start, it’s hard to imagine that that creativity just disappears. That creative kids turn into un-creative adults. Rather, I think that creativity continues to exist in each of us, but in some it just sits dormant, waiting for the opportunity to reemerge.

Right now, I am enjoying the re-emergence. The ideas. I feel like I am three. My mind bursting.

I think I am experiencing this burst in creativity, in part, because I am with these little ones full-time. When I am constantly surrounded by their joy and passion and imagination it it hard to not be inspired.

I also have the time, space, encouragement and support to not only have grand ideas but also act on them. Some may scoff. Time?! How?! Mama of two little ones?

Some days I’m not always sure that I do have the time. Some days it is hairy. But I do make making a priority. Creating comes a close second on the list, right after feeding my family.

And I think that’s just about right. I want to show these little ones that creativity needn’t go dormant as the responsibilities of adult life settle in. I want them to see me be passionate and excited, just like them.

How about you? Do you make creativity a priority? Do you think all adults are creative?

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  • Anonymous

    I totally agree. There is a creative spark in all of us. It certainly burns brighter in little ones but I think we’ve all got it. Stoking that fire as an adult can be a challenge when responsibilities and self doubt are easy dampeners but it is so very worth making creation a priority!

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  • Alicia C.

    Yes! Creativity is a trait that, I believe, is in all humans. I think that it slowly is drained from us as we grow. Do you remember the first time you “learned” how to draw a tree: brown line with a puffy green circular shape on top? We all know that this isn’t how a tree looks. So do small children. But, they are “taught” by a friend, parent, or teacher that this is how to draw one. I have a very specific memory of “learning” how to draw trees when I was in kindergarten. I felt as if my teacher was nuts – trees had lots more colors than green and brown. And there were individual leaves and the bark was bumpy and there were innumerable branches. But who was I to question? I knew that the teacher was right… So, I learned how to draw trees, flowers, people, etc. the “right” way.

    The creativity crush doesn’t stop there, though. Curiosity, I think, perpetuates creativity. If a child has a question without an answer, they will probably create their own answers. They will continue to create answers, and test those answers, until they find and test a made-up answer that seems to make sense. They will also watch the older people around them to see how these people find their answers and they may try some of those options (look in a book, ask someone, etc.) Again, when children are put into classroom settings, too often, instructors will pose questions to children and immediately give the ansewrs. I cuts out the creativity of guessing.

    OK, OK… I could go on and on about this (I’m very passionate about this subject!). See if you can find a book called “How Children Learn” by John Caldwell Holt. I guarantee that it’ll make you look at your children’s mental processes differently. It’ll also help you allow your own creativity to surface!

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