When a skill or aptitude for something is more abstract and subjective, people often finding those capabilities amazing. Whether it comes down to rendering a brilliant portrait of your close friend, composing a piece of literature, or giving an absolutely stunning piano recital, the demanding artistic sense required to succeed and impress people in all of these fields stems from creativity. In this way, we might consider creativity as a source for both artistic expression and for the generation of new, innovative solutions or approaches to problems.
However, due to the quality of creativity in itself is very, very subjective and hard to grasp. There are really no hard and fast methods that will guarantee that a child or an adult can develop a sense of creativity, be able to think outside of the box, or generate and develop a unique sense and expressive style whether that creative endeavor concerns the art or even science.
While creativity appears to be something that most people consider innate or a even part of personality quirk of sorts, I believe that the notion of creativity does not all hinge on the “you either have it or you don’t” viewpoint. I think that as parents and that as educators, we should understand creativity as continuous process that must be gradually developed.
In contrast to the people who claim that creativity cannot be learned, developed, taught, or feel that a person only possesses limits to their creative potential, I believe that creativity should encouraged and taught. Here, I’ll walk through some methods to help your child develop their creative senses and really shine.
Introduce Them to Interesting Philosophical Situations
Let’s begin with philosophy first. A lot of people are annoyed at philosophy because it forces them to think and to seriously question their beliefs, or they might even get frustrated as a result of not being able to understand the ideas hidden underneath the dense verbiage of the texts. You might be wondering, how can some as dry, boring, and pedantic as philosophy even begin to help my child become more creative.
The thing about philosophy is that it isn’t just all hot air. Many of the popular thought experiments are based around philosophical considerations. For example, the famous movie, The Matrix, borrows part of its premise from the “brain in the vat” experiment. The essence of the experiment boils down to the question of how perception vs. reality. What if we are just a brain sitting in a vat that has the necessary fluids to keep those brain cells alive, but as that brain we are experiencing a reality that is entirely simulated?
The trolley experiment and its implications on morality also highlights a great starting point to help your children develop critical thinking through philosophy. This Harvard lecture gives a great explanation on the morality associated with murder in the trolley problem as an example what kind of creativity philosophical thinking stimulates. Reading books also counts.
Foster an Interest in Mathematics
You need to have mental ammunition - original synthesized ideas - in order to be creative in the first place. Mathematics is a great place to start because it teaches children pattern recognition and how to use and bend rules in an unconventional manner to achieve a solution to a problem. There is a sort of beauty to the rigidity of mathematical theorems, equations, and proofs that contributes to creative thinking because it forces children to come up with solutions based on a set of restrictions. Learning about relationships between numbers like the fact that adding odd numbers consecutively always gives a perfect square as a sum is an example of how beautiful and creative math can get.
Have Your Child Play an Instrument
Listening to music and participating in music is very beneficial to discipline and even to memory in some cases. Becoming good at a musical instrument is like any skill, and it requires daily practice. However, once your child masters the basics related to the technical skills of an instrument, they will find that they are capable of expressing themselves in incredible ways. The exact piece played by two different musicians often sound noticeably different because the nature of music is a collaborative process between the composer and the musicians. Through music, your child will learn more about themselves and how to express themselves with creative flair.
Introduce Your Child to the Basics of Chess
Much like the other activities, chess is not a game that immediately strikes any individual as requiring a huge amount of creative effort. However, because of the equality between sides (discounting the first-move advantage of white) and the fact that the entire board is accessible to all players, chess is an excellent opportunity for children to explore the fundamentals of strategy and to learn, speculate, and predict and acquaint themselves with the original strategies and playing styles of others. In developing the quality of creativity as a chess player, your child will also develop innovative, creative strategies with the purpose of defeating their opponents.
Art is the stereotypical subject that most people associate with creativity. How many times have you or someone you know remarked “that’s so creative” when admiring a particularly interesting, engrossing, or skillful piece of art. Many of us separate ourselves from those who are artistically skilled, thinking that we can never possibly reach that level of skill.
Yet, as it turns out, art is yet another skill that requires incredible levels of practice and repetition in order to fully master. There are some artists that are better or more talented than others, but no artist is incredibly successful with at least some degree of practice. Getting your child started early with art, in a stage where they do not judge their own paintings, will help them develop their creative tendencies as they begin to refine their skills over time.