How can daycare centers help young children to develop creativity? Your preschooler is curious, imaginative, and always enjoys exploring and experimenting. Even though these qualities may make it seem like creativity comes naturally, take a look at how a high-quality child care program can encourage the creative process, add to artistic development, and more.
What Is Creativity?
Before you can understand how child care centers can help preschoolers to develop creativity, you may want to learn more about this type of development. While the arts (performing and visual arts, such as drama, dance, music, or painting) are activities typically associated with creativity, your child doesn't necessarily need a pair of ballet shoes, a violin, or a crayon to develop their creative side.
Creativity isn't one ability or developmental area. Instead, it is a complex combination of problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, emotional recognition/expression, and perspective-taking skills. It is inspiration, the ability to use inspiration, and going beyond concrete thought.
What Daycare Activities Help Children To Develop Creativity?
Even though these skills are evident in art expression exercises, other content areas include activities that engage the creative process. This means your child could build creativity-related skills during a painting activity — but may also develop these abilities during science experiments or literacy lessons.
Processed-based activities are one way that early childhood educators help preschoolers to develop creativity in the daycare setting. These are open-ended activities that don't have one specific outcome or product. Instead of painting a picture of an animal, the teacher may ask the children to explore with tempera and experiment with the ways the brush moves across the paper or the colors mingle and mix. Likewise, the teacher may encourage the children to make their own musical discoveries instead of playing one specific song.
Along with these types of activities, daycare programs can encourage creativity through problem-solving lessons. A science experiment, math manipulatives, and sensory explorations can all push the young child to think critically, hypothesize, and puzzle out problems in creative ways.
What Other Developmental Areas Does Creativity Connect With?
Creativity isn't a stand-alone developmental skill. As your preschooler builds this ability and thinks in creative ways, they may also develop social and emotional skills. The group setting of the daycare classroom and group activities promote social interactions. This provides the young child with a way to make friends and practice socially acceptable behaviors (such as turn-taking or sharing). It also gives them a chance to see and identify emotions, recognize their own feelings, and express emotions in appropriate ways.