Our children know the A to Z and can rattle off the numbers like the backs of their hands But where is the creative ability in that? One of the key challenges students face when writing compositions is the ability to come up with creative ideas to develop the plots of their stories.
A contributor in the forum page of the local newspaper wrote, “When a greater focus is placed on developing individual excellence instead of enforcing cohort homogeneity, everyone gets to bring something different to the table. Future challenges can be tackled more effectively when they are approached from many creative angles.” How can we then inculcate creativity in our children from young? Here are some opportunities in our daily lives that we can tap on to enhance our children’s creativity.
1. How do I get there?
Transit link bus stop listing
We all know that Singapore has one of the best transportation infrastructures in the world. It is accessible and user-friendly. When we are unsure of the bus services we need to get to our destination, we can easily refer to the bus services information board at the bus stops. Reading from this type of information trains our children to be resourceful. Get them to think about the following questions:
How do I get there?
Is there only one bus service to get me to my destination?
Are there any alternatives for me to consider?
If the route is closed, can I take a bus followed by a train to get me to my destination?
If you prefer driving around, Google Maps could be your child’s best friend. Alternatively, give your child a hard copy of the Street Directory and teach how to read a map. Exposing them to grown up topics, enabling them to pick up life skills, challenging them to be resourceful and having them consider options will help to inculcate creativity in your children.
2. What do you see?
Is there a notice board in your house? It could be on the fridge, at the back of the door or mounted on a wall. Let me introduce you to the idea of pinning non-routine pictures to allow your child’s mind to wander. Do make sure there is space and a pencil at the side of the picture for scribbling.
The space to scribble is vital because writing beside the pictures stimulates response and creativity. When things are written down, ideas are captured, thoughts can then come to fruition. Above all these, the writing provides a glimpse into your child’s mind.
- A tailor is going to open his shop for the day.
- A stranger stalking his idol in the back alley.
- A benevolent father buying food for the family.
- A trailblazer carrying his helmet in hand, going to a supermarket to get supplies.
- A horse raising its forelegs
- The cleaner sweeping the floor
- A lady doing the flamenco dance
- A duck reaching for food that a visitor suspended above
- A girl dancing at the ball
- Cinderella running away at the stroke of 12
- A girl leaving after turning up for the wrong party
- Heartbroken lady after her boyfriend broke up with her
There is no right or wrong answer. The idea is to allow the mind to wonder.
3. Incomplete Figure Task
One of the most iconic elements in the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (developed in the ‘60s by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance) is the Incomplete Figure test. The child is given a shape, like the one shown below, and then asked to complete the image. Free sketching, like the previous two activities encourages a free flow of ideas.
Some interesting returns:
Again, there is no right or wrong answer in creativity. The idea is to allow the mind to wander. Children do not always have to be kept occupied. It is good to set aside time when they do not have anything task to complete. Let them get bored and come up with their own ways to keep themselves occupied. It is perfectly all right/fine for them to play with imaginary aeroplanes and build sandcastles in the air (pun intended).
Frequent practice of such purposeful and out-of-the-box explorations of ideas breaks down the barriers in children’s minds that stifle creativity. Your children will spontaneously go beyond run-of the-mill solutions that will set them apart from the crowd.
Learning Point sure are! Start introducing these creativity exercises/practices in your family today!