With strict curriculums to adhere to and targets to be met, bringing creativity into the classroom is harder than ever. But a great teacher will always find ways of mixing creative thinking and hands-on learning into their lessons. Here’s why we believe it's so important to keep creativity front of mind:
Their innate creativity deserves nurturing:
Children are born creators. Always ready to explore and experiment and ever curious about the world around them and how things work together. But creativity is like a muscle, if it’s not used it, becomes harder to use! It’s our job as educators to help nurture this creativity and curiosity in the classroom so children are able to strengthen their creative thinking abilities and take these on with them in later life.
The future’s creative leaders are in our classrooms:
Creativity in our classrooms is so much more than pulling out the paints and letting the children get messy (although always fun!). Fostering creativity is crucial to the future of our planet. Investors, innovators, artists, architects, activists - they all rely on being able to think outside the box and find ways to express ideas.
We owe it to those who don’t get creative at home:
Sadly not every child has the opportunity to be creative at home, meaning it really is vital we present children regular opportunities at school. It doesn’t always need to be a messy, craft-based setup either. Creative thinking can be encouraged by simply asking our children to share their thoughts and answer open-ended questions where their opinion and ideas are respected.
They’ll learn through having fun:
We’ve all seen the joy on a child’s face as they look at the works they’ve just created! Such satisfaction. Plus, the sensory delights of getting gluey and working with new materials is fun and developmentally beneficial.
It’s great for emotional development:
Creativity is often overlooked for its therapeutic merits. Allowing our children a safe space to express their emotions through the arts enables them to let their emotions out and to explore ways of expressing anxieties and exploring feelings and thoughts they’re having difficulty processing.
It improves focus and attention:
Younger years children need creativity and fun to hold their attention. Bringing in creative teaching strategies is brilliant for regaining their interest whether this means finding creative, hands-on ways to deliver information or providing in-lesson breaks to do something imaginative.
Fosters problem solving:
Creative thinking comes hand-in-hand with problem solving, a hugely valuable skill all children need to maximise if they are to go on and succeed in the rest of their education and life. Children use problem solving as they work out how to utilise their creative resources, explore colour and experiment with building their own constructions (to name just a few examples).
Celebrating creativity boosts confidence and self esteem:
When our children have the time, space and resources to use their innate creativity - and are recognised for their efforts - it pays dividends for their self-confidence. There's nothing more satisfying for a child to create something using their own imagination and ingenuity and to have this really ‘seen’ by teachers and parents alike, whether it’s a child-led craft, junk modeling, painting, or hands-on STEM constructions.
How can you start supporting creativity in the classroom? A school Yearbook or Christmas Card project is a brilliant starting point for a term long initiative that will engage any age group.
If you like this blog you may also like our article: How to Encourage Creative Thinking in the Early Years