We are part of a hyper -turbulent, fast-paced, disposable culture — break-down furniture, break-up marriages, cross-country migrations, sound bites, video clips, fast food, eat-and-run types of living. (Leslie Owen Wilson, Ed.D., The Second Principle)

One click and you’re done. Text messages and Facebook responses are sent in nano-seconds. In record time, our computers can be accessed. Society relies on our smartphones to make us smarter. We barely have to talk anymore and have less time than ever to be creative.

Does it matter if our children are creative? Should we care?  What does it mean to be creative? I recently read a PBS article that said, “Creativity is the freest form of self- expression. The ability to be creative and to create something from personal experience and feeling, can reflect and nurture children’s emotional health.

So, there you have it.  The freest form of self – expression.  And how are children performing this so-called self-expression?  In the early years, children engage in activities that include visual arts, music, movement, and drama. While it may seem that children are just painting, drawing, banging instruments and dressing up, what is really happening?

What is really happening, is that through creative play, our children, as they grow and develop are becoming creative thinker’s. And the truth is, employers, look for candidates who have both creative thinking and creative problem- solving skills. While employment sounds far away, there is no reason to not start the creative process. Time flies and the time is now.

What skills and benefits are derived from creative play?  Kiwi Families, based in New Zealand, advise the following:

Intellectual Benefits –  This includes math skills like geometry, sizing, shaping, measuring and sorting. Early problem- solving skills include issues around cutting paper and using glue. As children get older, art activities become more complex. While it appears that paint mixing and creating mosaic patterns are creative, without the intellectual component creativity falls apart.

Physical Benefits – Arts & Craft activities, including painting, drawing, writing and pasting contribute to the development of fine motor skills.  This type of play will make children writing ready when the time comes.

Emotional & Social Benefits –  Creative activities provides ways for children to express their emotions. There is little which is more human than the expression of emotion.

Communication Skills – Creative play in group settings is a way for children to interact together. They talk and collaborate about what they are doing.  By doing this, they are improving their vocabulary through human interaction, while at the same time honing socialization skills. .

Give your children the freedom to create.  Whatever that means, just do it. Not every child will choose art and not every child will choose music or drama.  While the possibilities are endless, developing children will benefit them in the end.

Creativity to Go, for planes, trains or automobiles, vacations or staycations.

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