Parents and educators are always concerned about their children’s all-round development, be it physical, social or emotional. One of the most important facets that draw a lot of attention and influence is the development of the child’s imaginative and creative thinking.
Although creative thinking cannot be taught as an ability, parents and educators can help in the creation of mentally and physically interactive spaces. This allows children to explore their imaginative ideas and creative thinking capabilities. Children have a general tendency to be creative and curious when young, and this tendency seems to fade away as the child grows up. To avoid this suppression of thinking ability in the youth, several studies have been conducted, and a few methods that have been observed to help are listed here.
- Answer their questions
The questions that children ask are always fantastical, scientific and curious. As a parent, you should always answer these diligently and as honestly as possible – never chide them for asking too many questions or discussing too many ideas.
- Engage in conversation
Participate with your children in conversations on the topics they find interesting. When children begin a conversation, show interest in what they are talking about. You could also search for a few facts from Google and initiate a conversation yourself – your child will love this!
- Allow decision-making
Ask children to participate in decision-making at home. As parents, you can ask your children for their inputs and opinions on questions like ‘what food to eat’, ‘which gadget to buy’, ‘where to spend Sunday evening’, and so on – and inculcate these opinions into your decision-making process. This will make your child feel included and also help in reinforcing the bond between the two of you.
- Healthy home atmosphere
As parents, try to keep the home atmosphere healthy with interesting discussions and open debates. This will also influence your child to participate in these conversations with you, and eventually, initiate them on their own.
- Educational playtime
For young kids, the phase of development of gross-motor skills is the beginning of creative thinking. As parents at home and as educators in school, you should provide kids with toys that allow this creativity to culminate into finished objects – Lego blocks, Play-Dough, paints and so on.
- Choosing the right school
Select the right school for your child – a school that enhances and fuels the curious nature of your child, and pushes them onto the path of discovery, knowledge and growth, rather than that or rote-learning and memorization.
- Audio-visual learning
As an educator, your primary duty remains education, which should be focussed on learning, rather than just the gathering of information. Educators should introduce topics and ideas to students in a combination of audio-visual materials, that helps them retain what they learnt as well as start thinking beyond the bounds of the classroom.
- Involve in discussions
All students have good ideas and thoughts on their own, but discussing and debating about these ideas can give rise to greater understanding and improved thinking. As educators, you could involve students in discussions with each other and as a class about any topics they want to discuss in the classroom, and let the ideas flow without hindrance or interruption.
- Avoid managing
As both parents and educators, it is difficult to not get involved when your children (or students) are participating in a creative process – something as simple as playing a game. But it is necessary to understand that children have the ability to be intuitively creative when they are left to their own devices. Thus, sometimes, it is better to let them do a few activities on their own.
- Field trips and more
Use outdoor time with your child to take them to places like museums, fairs, exhibits, nature trails and festivals. This will help them retain visual imagery, and aid in the development of their creative and cognitive imagination.
As parents and as educators, it is important for us to understand that children usually just need a slight push in the right direction, and they can do wonders. As it has been rightly said, “children see what you don’t,” be it within the bounds of the physical world or beyond.
A child sees an opportunity in every activity he or she undertakes, and as the adults around them, all we need to do is encourage them forward. At The Manthan School, we provide the students the opportunity to see beyond the ordinary, to think beyond the usual, and to make the best of every possibility that comes to them.
Come, join us today as we begin the journey towards greatness.