Creativity in the Classroom
Creative Minds in Primary School
When it comes to learning and development building the foundations of an active mind is of utmost importance in children’s primary school years, young minds that are in the development stages are much more adept to learning new skills, discovering methodology and increasing their motor, cognitive and creative abilities. Therefore by introducing exciting ways of learning at this early stage of a child’s schooling and education paves the way for future learning and development of skillsets that can be applied throughout their life.
When we talk about creativity in the classroom we refer to allowing a child to explore their own ways and methods of doing things, of using their mind to create something that is unique to them and by encouraging them to use their imagination without limits. This is an important method of allowing a child to discover what their capabilities are, allowing them to learn from mistakes and also to feel a sense of achievement. Of course with efforts there should be rewards and recognition for their achievements whether it is a certificate, a sticker or star to encourage them to further their creativity and to instil the desire to achieve more.
Creative Ideas for the Classroom
We look at some ways of how you can allow children the opportunity to apply themselves creatively in the classroom, by no means are these in any order but more of a guideline of various activities that can be used to inspire, create and reward children.
- BUILDING / CONSTUCTION
The use of Lego or such similar building blocks allow children to develop their skills of construction and building without having to stick to any format or plans, as well as developing an understanding of how certain techniques work better than others for example building blocks across each other provide an overall stronger structure, it can also encourage colour co-ordination and at the same time giving the child the freedom to what they want to build. Another important skill that can be learned from this is planning and an understanding of using a process to achieve their goal.
Children can be encouraged to build something from a certain number of blocks or bricks, this helps them to understand the importance of planning, the limitation of materials (blocks or bricks) they have to work with, for example should they want to build a large castle it would be limited by how many bricks it takes for each wall and therefore encourage the child to think ahead and plan their construction.
Whether it is painting with a brush, using a stencil or fingers, painting is an ideal way of encouraging a child’s creativity and interpreting what is in the mind’s eye to paper, this allows the child to use colours to represent objects such as yellow for the sun, green for grass and encourages their association of colours to the common world. As well as colour association children gain an understanding of shapes, lines, contours and shading without limiting their inspiration.
Of course when it comes to painting there really is no limitations except to the colours but this is where children can get creative by mixing various primary colours to make new ones, once again this is encouraging the child to use their creativity and an understanding of how mixing the colours together creates new colours to paint with and create their own little works of art.
Musical instruments are a fantastic way of encouraging a child’s creativity, whether it is a simple triangle or a drum kit it can inspire children to make noise and more importantly how sound works including the use of repetition, rhythm and sound effects. It encourages the child to grasp an understanding of how various methods create different results, for instance, blowing on a trumpet will produce sound and using the trumpet keys alter them, the same as banging a drum with a stick is different to using a soft drum brush.
Once creative way of applying this is to ask the children to make their own musical instruments from everyday objects such as yoghurt pots, pots and pans, even rolled up paper to make trumpet cones, this inspires them to use their mind to think of how they can produce something that will create a sound and encourages them to use their creativity, you can even set the task of trying to produce a whole orchestra with each child contributing in their own creative way.
These are just three examples of how you can encourage children to apply their creativity in creating their own unique work and each example can be expanded and rehashed to encourage different results and outcomes. What must be remembered when you encourage a child to be creative is to reward them accordingly and for their efforts and abilities, for instance with the building / construction lesson you could have awards for the tallest building, the most colourful, the most interesting, in fact there is no limitation on what you award as each child will produce something different, the important factor is that you give recognition to their creative efforts.
Stickerstocker provide such rewards, whether it be a sticker or star to go on a chart or if you wanted to present medals to the winner of each creative category. You can offer this as a one off or part of an ongoing curriculum. Such rewards and awards can only encourage children to apply themselves more and become more creative and inspired on bettering their previous efforts thus speeding their development and ultimately their understanding of methodology, planning and creativity. Of course with this all said, what has to be also remembered that these creative activities are all about having fun and that there should be no last places nor should there be any failures as being creative is all about seeing what we can do, how we can do it and learning from these experiences that will set the child in good stead for future projects, learning and education.