Creativity is cool. Simply put. It’s a special human trait that allows us to create, problem solve and discover. It’s something that we all possess and use differently. It exists deep within us. We have the option to uncover it, as though it were a natural resource buried inside our bodies. Some of us use a lot of it, and unfortunately, some of us use very little of it. Everyone’s creativity has a distinct form of its own. It’s responsible for innovation, motivation and concentration. Creativity is just as important as any subject taught in school. It’s equal to mathematics, literacy, science, social studies and humanities. It allows us to be interactive and receptively heightens our imaginations when applied. Creativity is connected to all of our innate senses: sight, touch, taste, smell and sound, along with a spark of intuition.
Creativity for Kids®, a company that produces creative activity projects for children of all ages, understands the value of creativity and wants to share with others just how cool it truly is. The brand is owned by Faber-Castell®, founded in 1761 and one of the world’s largest manufactures of office and art supplies. Researchers, such as Sigmund Freud, B. F. Skinner and Rollo May, have been studying behaviorism and creativity for centuries, trying to determine its source and purpose. Some believe it to be an unconscious act, others say it’s instinctual, and then some say it’s conditioned. Many people have formed their own theories, and they all are fascinating, but no one precisely knows the source of creativity or its purpose. But it remains true that when a child opens up any Creativity for Kids project, they are going to involve all of their senses, both physically and imaginatively.
Everything can be anything in the hands of a child. Sounds like a bold statement, but many of us have seen a child use a cardboard box as an IndyCar® or silverware as surgical instruments operating on lasagna. And that is the secret component to Creativity for Kids’ projects: imagination. Each project they create simply requires a child to use their imagination, while Creativity for Kids provides the tools. With imagination and an artistic project, children are able to tap into any of their five senses. For example, a child may unlock their sense of taste and smell when they cook up their very own 3-course meal using objects from their Creativity Can, a small container filled with simple, colorful materials like pipe cleaners, googly eyes and yarn. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology monitored what college-age adults ate, and how it correlated to their moods. The study found that those participants who ate seven to eight servings of fruits or vegetables a day reported meaningful positive changes in mood. Setting the stage by reinforcing those good food choices through play can be a good thing.
Or maybe they unlock their sense of sound after they create their one-of-a-kind wind chime from Creativity for Kids’ Butterfly Wind Chime kit. Conversely, sound affects creativity. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that ambient noise is an important variable that affects creativity. Some music playing when your kids create is important, loud repetitive noises like a vacuum or dishwasher though are not good for creativity.
There are a million and one ways children can use these creative activity projects to coincide with their routine activities. When a child visually constructs a creation from the Creativity for Kids Origami kit, they are honing their memorization skills without realizing it. Essentially, children are learning how to carefully fold pieces of a paper to create recognizable figures in hopes of eventually memorizing how to recreate them without having to refer back to the directions. Memorization is something a child uses everyday, and this particular project is an amusing way to facilitate its growth. Also, they’re likely to impress their friends with their cool origami skills. The Classic Wood Crafts kit is also a great project for kids because, well, kids like to build stuff. The world’s greatest architects, engineers and software developers had to start somewhere, right? There is something captivating about watching a child hold a bunch of tiny wood bits and piece their creative vision together. This type of resourceful thinking allows children to look at the bigger picture with the limited resources at hand, which can apply to many areas of analyzing and problem solving.
Setting the creative stage through smell is a powerful tool as well. According to environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, certain smells trigger psychological reactions. Lemon and jasmine, for example, can improve cognitive performance. Rosemary and grapefruit smells are said to be energizing, while vanilla and cinnamon smells can help enhance creativity.
Many “grown-ups” might look at a pile of feathers, glow-in-the-dark paint, and tiny blue pompoms and not have a clue what to do with it all. But just because their creativity is a tad rusty, doesn’t mean that can’t get a help from a little kid who is looking at those same, exact objects as if it were a pile of gold. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beauty of creativity is that it allows children to expand their minds and personal satisfaction, in turn, boosting their confidence. As adults, it is our responsibility to cultivate children’s innate nature for innovation so that they can exercise their creativity in all aspects of their lives as they develop physically, and most importantly, mentally. According to Jenn Choi writing for forbes.com, “The very presence of the can in your home says that you value creativity. What your child does with the can is up to her. To add to the challenge (and hopefully the fun), you can open the can as a family and make things together. Collaboration and cooperation won’t be optional. Don’t be surprised if you see unusual acts kindness and courtesy taking place. Moreover, you can give yourself a present by getting a new can every few months and allowing your child to show you just how much she’s grown since you last opened a can.”
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