5 Simple Ways to Nurture Creativity in Our Children
By Maddie Thiele - Business Development Officer/Teacher at South Yarra and Burnley
Children of Tomorrow – May 2016
“Creativity stands at the centre of educating children who will be the scientists, inventors, artists, musicians, dramatists, innovators, and problem solvers of the future” (Kemple and Nissenberg).
Creativity occurs through play and exploration of the imagination. In Mini Maestros classes, your child will begin to take part in ‘pretend play’ activities starting as young as in our 1-2 year old classes, (e.g. Children are currently flying their Bumblebee cut-outs around along to music and landing on a flower when the music stops), but predominantly from our 2-3 year old classes and up. While our classes are designed to nurture your child’s creativity, we believe it is crucial to try and incorporate particular activities to stimulate creativity into your child’s routine at home as well. Here are some tips from us at Mini Maestros on some of the ways you can set up creative play in the home:
1. Invent scenarios that might stimulate your child’s imagination. Your child might already have some favourite scenarios they like acting out (like Doctors or Zoos). You can draw from real-life familiar scenarios children know (many of our students like to go home and pretend to be the Mini Maestros teacher!) and allow the child to take on a role they like. You can help them to learn more about the environment they have created by asking them questions, like “What does the Doctor take with them when they walk around the hospital?”
2. Explore outside the text of picture books and try storytelling from scratch. It might be part of your daily routine to read picture books with your child. Try to move away from the text of the story every now and then to stop on a page and ask your child questions about what they see in the pictures, and encourage them to assist with the storytelling process. For example, if there is a picture with animals from a farm, point to an animal and ask what it is, what it is doing, what its name might be, what it likes to eat, etc.
You might also like to encourage children to make up their own stories, but they might need some help to get started. Tell your child that they get to make up their own story, but first ask them who the story will be about. Ask them some leading questions to help guide the story along, for example: Is the story about an animal or a person? Is it a boy or a girl? What does the person do when they wake up every morning? What is different about this day? Who does the person meet along the way? How does the story end?
3. Allow your child to make mistakes. If you see your child about to make a mistake, let it happen. They might learn how to rectify their mistake. They might also be exploring what happens in real life versus what happens in stories. For example, if your child says that cows like to eat spaghetti, ask them more questions to see if they can build the scenario in their imagination. Ask them questions like who cooks the spaghetti? Do cows use knives and forks to eat their spaghetti or do they use their hooves or their mouths?
4. Incorporate nonsense! Talk to your child with nonsense words (channel your inner-Dr Seuss!), and use opposites to encourage your child’s sense of humour, and to give them confidence to correct you. For example, point to the ground and tell them it’s the sky (this can be the ultimate comedy for 3 year olds and up!) Use nonsense-words to make up rhymes and to tell stories.
5. Set aside some craft time at your house every now and then to allow children to make something that is visually creative. You can provide structure within the session, like setting a theme or a purpose behind it to stimulate their ideas. For example, decorating a birthday card, making a newspaper hat, making a caterpillar necklace, etc. You can then ask your child questions about their work, for example, why they choose to use certain colours or shapes.
For further reading:
- Inter-Generational Music Making = Strengthening Friendships Through Songs and Dance by Jo Irwin, Macedon Ranges Franchisee.
- 2020 Enrolments - Another Year of Nurturing Confident Learners
- Diving Deeper - Music from Around the World - Janet Collins
- Why Have Concerts? - By Maddy Kelly, Mini Maestros Head of Teaching
- Diving Deeper - Music and Mood Enhancement
- Diving Deeper - Music and Vocabulary By Kitty Skeen - Mini Maestros Bendigo.
- Diving Deeper - Lullaby and good night - hopefully... By Judy O'Neill
- Kodály, Orff, Dalcroze and Suzuki - By Jo Irwin - Mini Maestros Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Franchisee
- New Mini Maestros Customer App
- Diving Deeper - Connection by Maddy Kelly - Mini Maestros' Head of Teaching
- Diving Deeper - Imagination. By Caroline Paterson
- Diving Deeper - Creativity by Kitty Skeen - Mini Maestros Bendigo Franchisee
- Interview with Dr Anita Collins – By Esther Bertram
- Onlooker Learners - By Emma Hart, Former Mini Maestros Head Of Teaching
- Meet The Team - Ally Hvalica
- Music and Intellectual Development - By Alison Cusack & Linda Repic
- Who is your child's best teacher? Part 1 of 2 By Emma Hart - Former Mini Maestros Head of Teaching
- Who is your child's best teacher? Part 2 of 2 By Emma Hart - Former Mini Maestros Head of Teaching
- Diving Deeper - Physical Skills - By Taryn Wright
- Inter-generational music making is building healthy communities
- Writing Music Down - by 3MBS
- Diving Deeper - Social Skills by Kate Rice
- The Importance of Repetition
- Diving Deeper - Learning to listen by Robyn Stewardson
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Esther Bertram - Marketing and Franchise Development Manager
- Meet the Team - Jo Irwin
- Diving Deeper - Imagination and Music By Lisa Marcolin
- Speech Development - Stories from Parents by Annette L. Graham
- Diving Deeper - The Power of Song by Kitty Skeen Part 1 of 2
- Diving Deeper - The Power of Song by Kitty Skeen Part 2 of 2
- Meeting the Head Office Team - Maddy Kelly
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Bruce Fethers - Co-owner & Managing Director
- Diving Deeper - Dance - by Cathy Edgar
- The Senses - By Robyn Grose
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Jennifer Smith - Co-owner & Music Director
- The Power of Music in Expressing Children's Emotions by Chantelle Alvaro
- Play - By Kate Howard
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Introducing Stephanie Migliore
- Relationships - By Ally Hvalica
- Developmental Milestones - By MaryRose Harrison
- Stories From Parents/Grandparents - Bobbie Carroll
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Introducing Monika Szilagyi
- JOY by Tiff Ikin
- Music Education
- Peekaboo Scarves by Emma Hart, Former Mini Maestros Head of Teaching
- All Shapes of the World
- Music Forever
- Children of Tomorrow: Thoughts On Mindful Music Education in the Early Childhood Space
- Nurturing the Love of Music
- Music. Feel it all over.
- Mini Maestros - It's Not Just About The Children.
- The Creative Life
- Discovering the Joy of Music
- Five Alternative Ways to Say "Well Done!"
- "Good morning Bumblebee"
- A Mini Maestros Moment
- The exchange between teacher and child
- The joy of being a new mum, and the importance of connection learning and play
- BABIES CLASSES - a very special and important time for you and your child.
- 5 Ways To Jam With Your Child At Home
- Was Your First Mini Maestros Class What You Expected?
- Moving to a Steady Beat and the Young Brain
- Learning an Instrument