Children and Creativity Resources

Written by Bill Paton in Toronto, Canada

Children are naturally curious and creative. However, through teachings, discouragement and emulation we end up showing them how to resist their curious nature so they can conform. Sadly, a standard education system that is designed to teach children to fit into a factory style workplace can do more harm than nothing at all. As adults we often have to relearn this inborn ability to be curious and childlike (as opposed to childish) in order to be Creative and learn how to play. Harry Chapin has a song about this smashing down of the Creative Spirit. The song is called Flowers are Red.

We are now realising how important encouraging children to be creative really is and how the adult personality is greatly formed in the first 5 plus years of life. Being encouraged by parents and teachers is vital to their growth and creativity in later life.

While any creative resources are important and relevant to Children, there are a few that are particularly related to Children and encourage their growth. Quite possibly the most important resource Children have is encouragement in whatever they do and acceptance. Children learn directly from their parents and take their cue from them.

As children we may be told the story of Mozart writing symphonies at 5 years old and rather than inspire us, we feel that only geniuses can do that stuff and we don't even try.

Please read this extract from The Little Prince.

There are many resources available both online and offline of use to encourage children in Creativity.

Teaching Methods

The Montessori Method

Dr. Maria Montessori developed teaching techniques for children aged 2-5 which used Sensory Methods, in particular touching to explore and understand their environments.

A lot of information about her and her techniques are available online.

The Montessori Foundation

Montessori Method

Rudolf Steiner - The Waldorf School Method

Rudolf Steiner Articles archive. Constantly updated.

Instructional Books

Certain Books are about Creativity for Children and may include Edward de Bono's The Dog Exercising Machine and Teaching your child to think. There are also the Cognitive Research Trust (CORT) Lessons of De Bono's Techniques. Also "FREE TO BE, YOU AND ME".

Brain Teasers are also fun.

Fiction Books

Books such as Sherlock Holmes and Encyclopedia Brown can encourage Children to practice thinking skills. Also recommended are The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte Exupery and The Great Brain Series.

Magazines

Magazines are of interest to children because they are colourful and they can look at them quickly in their short attention spans.

Kids magazines include OWL, National Geographic WORLD, and National Geographic magazine.

Television

Television is seen by many to be the worst thing for Creativity and learning since it encourage People to be passive (McLuhan's Cool Medium), and also shortens their attention span. Shows like The Simpsons plays off this in an Ironic fashion. However, television is an excellent medium for learning about many things such as other cultures and points of view, science and historical events and more. It brings learning home and can empower Children.

Shows of Interest include:

BEAKMAN'S WORLD - A zany look at Science.

BILL NYE, SCIENCE GUY - Another zany look at Science.

READING RAINBOW - A show that brings Reading to Life. Hosted by Levar Burton.

SESAME STREET - The Classic television show, sponsored by THE LETTER M.

OWL TV - An excellent show about a bunch of friends who learn about Science and "stuff". Has a real skeleton as one of the friends.

F.R.O.G - "Foundation For Research and Other G...". An interesting show like OWL but for a younger crowd.

Collections

Children love collecting things and it can encourage them in their creativity and self-reliance.

Games and Toys

LEGO (they probably have a web site) makes a computer based system that allows lego blocks to be combined with simple computer controlled machines to have them basically create ROBOTS. COOL!!!!

Links

CANADIAN KIDS HOMEPAGE Various links for Parents and Children.

Ned Herrmann's book the Creative Brain has some good information about children:


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Last updated: 30th July 2002