Creativity is about representing one’s own image, not reproducing someone else’s.
–Bernadette Duffy, Every Child Matters: Change for Children; Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years
There is enough evidence throughout human history to make the case–many times over–for our need to describe and share experiences. Child development studies suggest that children should be given as many opportunities as possible to express their own experiences, feelings and thoughts through creative means. This kind of “creative learning” through a wide range of experiences helps young children develop abilities and skills. Creative learning teaches children to
- interact and make connections with others by communicating their feelings in verbal and non-verbal ways;
- express their thoughts on a given subject;
- solve problems and address a variety of challenging ideas;
- develop a personal opinion on esthetics;
- understand cultural differences;
- demonstrate good self-esteem;
- extend physical and motor skills.
Children are natural explorers who view the world around them as a learning tool. For most children creativity usually comes naturally, but it’s important to provide a stimulating environment to guide them in discovering new information, skills and concepts.
New York City’s Friends of the High Line offers a full regular calendar of children’s activities and events, including Children’s Workyard and Play With Your Food. At the Workyard, kits consisting of custom-designed wood planks, nuts and bolts designed and built by Cas Holman, allow young builders to explore and build anything from small buildings to machines, vehicles and other structures. Kids get to wear kid-sized construction hats, glasses and some pretty snazzy tool belts. Wheelbarrows and tools don’t get a break until the event is over.
Play with Your Food, also part of the High Line park’s creative offerings for children, helps youngsters understand where their food comes from. Example: Honey Day gets kids up close and personal with local beekeepers, the honey-making process, and also live bees.
Read more about creative learning: