There is growing evidence we are experiencing a “creativity crisis.” On the one hand, most people agree that creativity is essential for the future success of the human race. On the other hand, we know children’s creativity scores have been declining since 1990. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking have been measuring childhood creativity for more than 50 years and have evaluated more than a million children around the globe. A recent review of the results indicates American children’s responses were less creative and showed less humor, imagination and fewer ideas.
Thus the crisis! If creativity is both essential and, at the same time, in decline in childhood, we could face a future deficit in innovation and creative problem solving, which will impact our ability to deal with an ever-changing world.
While the reason for the decline in creativity is not clear, some attribute it to the over-programmed, busy lives of families, to the growing number of hours children are involved in the digital world and even to the emphasis on test scores combined with a diminished role of the arts in the school curriculum.
When we at Creativity for Kids® heard the startling findings, we decided to do something about it. For nearly 40 years, we have made products designed to stimulate and encourage children’s natural creativity. As leaders in the development of creative activity toys, we felt the responsibility to speak out and step up – so we launched the “creativity comeback.”
Starting with the premise that “creativity can make anything possible,” we developed the “Creativity Can®.” This is an actual cardboard can filled with pom poms, wood sticks, googly eyes, feathers and other colorful materials that stimulate kids to use their imaginations and create whatever they like. The materials, though simple and familiar, are thoughtfully selected to inspire maximum creativity. The only instructions are to have fun and be as creative as you can be.
There is no right or wrong way to use the materials. So far, we’ve even seen children using the can itself and the results are awesome. Kids have created amazing, fantastic and unique objects and characters, often with imaginative narratives. Our goal is that thousands of kids will enjoy this experience, share their creations with others and demonstrate the tremendous power and joy of creativity.
The Creativity Can is available FREE at participating retailers in the US and Canada. To find a store in your area along with all the information you need about how to be part of the creativity comeback, go to creativtitycan.com. Because we know how much children love to share their creations, we’ve set up a site for them to post their pictures and also to see what thousands of other kids have done.
As someone who has been a part of the children’s creative crafts category for almost 40 years, I’m personally excited to see what amazing things kids will create with the Creativity Can. It’s a feeling that I know is shared by everyone at Faber-Castell and Creativity for Kids.
Co-founder of Creativity for Kids
(originally posted April 2013)
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