* Provide an environment that allows the child to explore and play without undue restraints. The atmosphere should reflect the adults’ encouragement and acceptance of mistake, risk-taking, innovation, and uniqueness, along with amount of mess noise.
* Choice of materials. Without spending great amount of money, materials like paper goods of all kinds; writing and drawing tools; materials for constructions and collages, such as buttons, stones, shells, beads, and seeds; and sculpting materials, such as play dough, goop, clay, and shaving cream can be used. Children use these materials most productively and imaginatively when they themselves have help select, organize, sort and arrange them.
* Accept unusual ideas from children by suspending judgment of children’s divergent problem solving. Respect their efforts and let them know that you have confidence in their ability to do well. Let the child have both freedom and responsibility to deal with the consequences of their thinking.
* Use creative problem solving in all parts of the curriculum. Use the problems that naturally occur in everyday life. Encourage the child to experiment with the novel and unusual. Listen to the child’s questions and comments about his or her observations. Clarify what the child has observed by repeating what you have heard and ask further questions about the experience. New questions and observations may emerge from this process of exploration together
* Creativity does not follow the clock. Children need extended, unhurried time to explore and do their best work. Allow time for the children to explore all possibilities, moving from popular to more original ideas.
* Children find it hard to be creative without any concrete inspiration.Instead, they prefer to draw on the direct evidence of their senses or memories. These memories can become more vivid and accessible through the adults’ provocations and preparations. For example, children can be encouraged to represent their knowledge and ideas before and after they have watched an absorbing show, taken a field trip, or observed and discussed an interesting plant or animal they saw in the park.
* Expose your child to a diversity of cultures, experiences, people, and ways of thinking. Let them see that there are different ways to think about a problem. Encourage children to try new experiences within their age level abilities and expectations.
* Emphasize process rather than product. Relax and enjoy the creative process with your child. Children who are constantly directed to conform to expected outcomes lose the confidence and spontaneity essential for the development of creative thinking
* Beware of barriers to creativity. Rewards- when people do not expect a reward, they are more creative and enjoy the process more. Expected external evaluation- Knowing beforehand that a piece of art is going to be graded can lead to a decrease in creativity. Peer pressure – There is some evidence that pressure to conform can lead to temporary decreases in creativity. Surveillance – Being observed by others while engaged in a creative process can undermine creativity.
Do you need special toys to stimulate creativity? The experts say no, there are many easy tasks you and your child can do together to promote creativity.
1. Use creative questioning. One way to help children to think more creatively is to ask them how they would change things to make them better. (What would taste better if it were sweeter? What would be more fun if it were faster or slower? What would be happier if it were smaller or bigger? What would be more interesting
if it went backwards?)
2. Ask, “What would happen if?” (What would happen if all the cars were gone? What would happen if everyone wore the same clothes? What would happen if no one cleaned the house?)
3. Ask “in-how-many-different-ways” questions? (How many different ways can a button be used? How many different ways can a string be used?)
4. Use creative play. Activities such as “follow the leader” encourage a child to think of creative movement and experience the reward of others following their example. Use simple materials (blocks, mud, sand, clay, water) that the child can build and design using their own skills.
5. Use a continuing story concept. Someone starts the story and then each person adds a part. Read a story and act it out. Use puppets to act out a plot.
6. Use props to create new ideas. (Animal cracker game – child chooses one cracker; looks at it; then eats it. Then the child becomes that animal for 1-2 minutes. Use creative movement to act out how the animal acts and moves.)
7. Use role playing (family happenings, simulation games, school situations) to help children see the viewpoints of others and to explore their feelings. Have children describe the people that they see in pictures as to how they might feel or think.