The first thing to go during school budget cuts is often music or art classes. Children are also playing significantly less during their preschool years. This is highly unfortunate as one of the most important skills your child can have is creativity. Creativity brings joy and satisfaction to a child’s daily life. It also is helpful for your child’s future employment.
In the book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman states that our children will get jobs not based on the information they know but based on their ability to think outside of the box. Many high level jobs are becoming so standardized that the number of people who can perform them is sky rocketing. For example, hospitals now send MRIs to radiologists in India in the evening. The next morning, the radiologist summary report is waiting in the email in box. Doing well at a job will be about adding unusual value – not just pushing out standard work.
How can we teach our child now to help them creatively deal with the constantly changing job landscape or changing economy? The answer is so easy it seems ridiculous. Is it a $300 summer camp on creativity? NO.
One way is to let your child PLAY. Watch your child play sometime. Really, really observe. You will be amazed at their creativity. We can stifle this through TV watching, structured activities where the adult decides all the activities, or we can let them play. Children lose their ability to play as they get older. Take advantage of this window while they want to play so badly.
Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Your child experiences joy in play and in creating their own dramas. They are empowered by playing the doctor. Watch their faces and listen to them laugh. Are they doing this as much in structured activities? Or while watching TV?
Another way you can help your child become more creativity is having them do art projects.