Every time I look at this photo I am reminded that we all start out with the potential to be creative. Take a close look. That is one impressively balanced “tree” for the dinosaurs, is it not?
Our creative muscle is strong in early childhood. In early childhood classrooms, there is a lot of trial and error. It’s safe to make mistakes and try again. There is the freedom to self-direct. Imaginative play is encouraged.
And then comes elementary school where “facts” and “test scores” start to matter. Over time, our strong, creative muscle can weaken.
If we want our children to stay strong as they grow, encourage them continue to explore materials in a variety of different ways. Make sure they have opportunities to freely and safely practice trial and error. Let them interact with the outdoors. Allow lots of time for unstructured free play. With all that freedom, your children will come up with amazing ideas. With your support, they will continue to learn to stay open to endless possibilities, and more times than not, their creative ideas will surpass our expectations!
When we spend time in an environment that promotes creative thinking, we learn to expand our thoughts. We open our minds to out-of-the-box ideas.
Give that gift to yourself, too. In the right environment and with the right materials, we all can continue to do amazing things!