Creativity through Interest and Awareness!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein
In our earlier articles, we have seen how important creativity is, especially for the next generation, for whom it will be a necessary skill for success. We have also seen that it is just like any other skill which can be developed and nurtured and honed.
To develop the skill of creativity, we have already seen in the previous post the importance of unstructured play and letting the children be themselves – without us questioning their creative pursuits or trying to bind them in logic. The other important thing is fostering their interests and increasing their sense awareness.
Fostering their Interests – Creativity is ideas and imagination which builds upon the foundation of knowledge. The stronger the foundation of that knowledge, the better and more well-founded are ideas that spring forth. Therefore it is essential to let children read, watch videos about varied topics, and discuss them. If your child likes rocks, buy him/her a book on types of rocks. If your child likes dinosaurs, buy them a book on dinosaurs, or show them a documentary on the subject of their interest. If your child likes beautiful clothes, talk to them about great designers. Watch documentaries or videos with them on their topic of interest, read about it with them. Show a genuine interest when they tell you facts about the things they have read.
It is quite likely that they might change their interest in a few months or they might continue with it longer. This is perfectly natural at a young age. However, the knowledge that they would have gathered during the period that the topic did interest them, will stay with them forever. No amount of school teaching or forced teaching about a subject can be equivalent to what they can learn, understand and remember about a topic, while they are interested in it. So be sure to foster their interests. It will also help them eventually zero down on the areas that really inspire and motivate them. They keep changing their interests but if you ride the wave smartly, your child will be all the more smarter for it.
Increasing their Sensory Awareness – In today’s world, especially in urban cities, there are very few places where we can see nature in its glory. However, we should try and make it a point to make our children aware of the natural wonders whenever we get an opportunity. By natural wonders I do not mean taking them close to the North Pole to show them aurora borealis!! I mean the everyday wonders – plants, animals, insects, birds.
Grow some plants with them in your garden or flower pots (if there is less space). Try growing even a few vegetables at home. Let them touch the soil, plant the seed, water it, see it grow everyday. Make them aware of all the senses. Make them observe the butterfly, the pretty flower, the sweet-smelling flowers/fruits, the touch of the wind, the chirping of birds. Let them play in the mud or sand, let them jump in the rain. Let them collect twigs, flowers, stones and let them bring it back home. Trust me, these are just phases and will get over soon. They will not bring home stones all their life!
Let them experience all these different things. It will only lead to a better understanding of their surroundings, a better understanding of their own senses and feelings and a better understanding of the world they live in. Even great scientists like Albert Einstein looked to nature for inspiration. To quote him – “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”