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How to Raise Creative Kids

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How to Raise Creative Kids

“The brain can be developed just as a set of muscles.” ~Thomas Edison

I want to ask you to suspend your belief that “creativity is inherited”. In fact, creativity is inherent in every human being. As parents, YOU can nurture and strengthen your children’s creative abilities.

Your children have enormous mental capacity stored within the right hemisphere of their minds that can become weaker as they spend less time engaged in creative activity. Imaginative play is replaced with TV and video games. Coloring and drawing are replaced with writing and mathematics. The pressure to perform on standardized tests replaces “circle time.” School becomes more about memorizing facts and figures and less about independent thinking.

Without an awareness of the importance of developing the creative, right brain skills, your young children can depart from their innate creative selves into logical, linear thinking, left-brain-dominant “mature” individuals.

Whereas creatively empowered individuals say, “We can make this work!” others may say, “It has never been done before.” It is exactly this disparity that fueled a recent cover story (July 2010) in Newsweek Magazine entitled “The Creativity Crisis”. It reported decisively that our children’s creativity scores (based on a creativity test similar in intention to the IQ test) have been steadily DROPPING since 1990. With all of the challenges facing our world today and our children being the future source of potential solutions to these problems, it is now more important than ever to pay special attention to balancing our children’s education to include creative activity.

What can you do to ensure your kids grow into “creatively fit” adults? Here are three simple steps. Learn more at www.creativelyfit.com.

  1. Provide unstructured playtime. Resist the temptation to have every day booked full of activity. Kids need the “blank canvas” time in their day where it is entirely up to them to CREATE their acitivity.
  2. Shop for art supplies at the grocery store. You don’t need fancy art supplies or a home studio to use creative art activity to fuel your child’s creative mind. Simply keep blank paper in the kitchen (because, let’s face it, that is where they live), crayons, fresh markers, a glue stick, etc.
  3. Get outside! Nothing serves as a greater source of inspiration than the great outdoors. The kids may resist at first, but take them to the park, the nature reserve, or even send them to the driveway with some sidewalk chalk. It is the simple activities that will have the most impact.

To learn all “33 Things” you can do to raise creative kids, buy Whitney Ferre’s book 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids.

Whitney Ferre Whitney Ferré is originally from Chicago and is a graduate of The University of Michigan. Whitney is the author of 33 Things to Know About Raising Creative Kids and The Artist Within: A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit, has also co-created two wine bars in Nashville, leads corporate creativity workshops, teaches art and creativity classes, and is a mother of three.
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