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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Building a Creative Mind

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By Grace Chen

Every parent wants what is best for their child. They want their child to grow up creative, confident, smart, and successful. But just what can a parent do to help accomplish such goals? This question is often difficult to ascertain and the information giving by the media is often overwhelming and confusing to new parents. Let us take a look at several options which may help your child to be their best by exploring creativity.

Art as a tool

Art can be a powerful tool to developing creativity. Younger children are developing fine motor skills and are not so conditioned in logical thinking that they stifle their creativity. Creativity is not something you can teach a child to do. It is a skill that comes from within, but it can be encouraged. Art can help unleash this ability and put it in a visual form that will allow children to express themselves and share their feelings with others.

Lessons that art can teach

Art can introduce children to a variety of lessons that cannot always be fully explained with more traditional methods. These include:

  • The ability to make judgments about qualitative relationships. There are no rules in art; it is all about your judgment.

  • There is more than one solution to problems or answers to questions. Creative Child

  • There can be more than one perspective of an object or an idea.

  • There is rarely a “right” and “wrong” answer when it comes to problem solving – instead, it depends on the situation in which the problem occurs.

  • Art can define the world in ways that words and numbers cannot

  • Small changes and details can have big impacts

  • Art challenges students to think through different outlets to make ideas real.

  • Art gives a way to communicate feelings and express emotions.

  • Art offers a unique way of experiencing the world.

  • Teaching art to children shows them that it is important.

Even children who do poorly in traditional subjects can excel in art. And given a proper outlet and proper encouragement, art can help them develop a self confidence that will inspire them to take on the challenges in their lives – and excel at them.

Dealing with the mess of art

Some parents are hesitant to introduce their child to the world of art frequently because of the mess. This is understandable – with many households requiring both parents to work to simply pay for the everyday necessities, the thought of destroying the hard-earned funds with one spill of paint can be quite painful! And children, particularly younger ones, tend to be messy when they first approach art.

However, avoiding art to avoid the mess will only stifle your child's creativity. Instead, it can be helpful to look for aids that will help prevent messes. Tools like a child’s art smock can help protect clothing and keep it looking new. Drop cloths and mess mats can help protect floors and furniture. And many manufacturers of children's art products are coming up with non-toxic and washable formulations that make clean up a lot easier to deal with.

Allowing your child the freedom to express him or herself through art will help to develop creativity, self expression, and self confidence. So take the necessary precautions to keep things clean, and then break out the paint, clay, crayons, or other art materials and create!

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