Creativity is the new life skill
When we say "creativity", you probably think of that niece or nephew in your family who makes beautiful birthday cards. Or you think of your classmate who paints very well. Or that person who always clicks the best pictures.
But there is more to creativity than the way things look. Creativity is not about aesthetics. If you ask Wikipedia, "creativity" is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. Ask Oxford Dictionary and they define "creative" as "involving the use of imagination to create something".
This "something" could be anything. It could be a painting or a photograph. It could be a new dish. Or it could be an intangible idea. It could be the idea that computers are not just for people in tech, but for everyone. The idea of personal computers came from Steve Jobs. Or the idea that you could carry thousands of books in just one small device, was the thought behind Kindle.
Ideas can change the world. Creative thinking is behind pretty much everything the human civilization has made. Creativity is essential. In fact, UNICEF lists creative thinking as a life skill.
But if you're still not convinced, here are the benefits of developing creativity in children:
Creativity is multidisciplinary. You can apply it in the social sciences, sciences and in visual arts. Creativity can be a part of everyday household chores as well as the big projects in life.
Creative thinking reduces stress and anxiety by allowing you to express yourself.
Creativity encourages children to be lifelong learners. There are no right or wrong answers, but only the process of discovery and learning.
Creativity promotes problem solving and critical thinking. Whether your children become engineers or journalists, designers or lawyers, problem solving is a skill required across the board.
Creativity is the prerequisite to innovation. If you develop creativity, you develop the ability to think of novel ideas.
Did that convince you?
You say, "Okay, I know creativity is important. But my child is not creative." Our question to you is, "How do you know your child is not creative?" Creativity is not inherent. Creativity can be fostered and can be developed. It doesn't take a lot.
As parents and educators, foster creativity by letting children ask questions. Don't give them the answer if you see them struggle. When they are forced to figure something out on their own, they will find new ways. Isn't that what creativity is all about?
Research shows that playing outdoors increases creative thinking. Talk to your children about creative heroes - watch a documentary on Steve Madden, who has built a massive empire from a shoe brand, or read books by and about innovators.
In The Secret of the Highly Creative Thinker, Dorte Nielsen and Sarah Thurber, write:
Let your children be creative. It's not a bad thing.
People who are good at having creative ideas are good at seeing connections. By training your ability to see connections, you improve your capacity to think creatively.