Over the past few days we’ve started to learn Esther Wojcicki’s lesson’s on raising successful people. And as with a lot of smart, interesting, successful people, there’s a lot below the surface. But today’s focus is on Creativity. It’s said so well by Esther: creativity, a wonderful by-product of independence and curiosity.
She writes: In one study, a test based on NASA’s recruiting process for engineers and rocket scientists was used to measure creativity and innovative thinking in small children. At age five, 98 percent of the kids had genius-level imaginative abilities. But at age ten, only 30 percent of the children fell into that category. Want to guess how many adults maintain their creative thinking skills after making it through our educational system? Just 2 percent.
This is probably why we all believe our kids have something special in them. Because they do!
And our goal is not to stifle this. Actually, now that we think about it. Our goal is to stifle it as little as possible. Because we will want our children to “fit in with normal”, and our children too will compromise to ‘fit in with normal”, all on their own.
Here’s what you can do as a parent, even if your child’s creativity isn’t being encouraged at school: I used to set up all kinds of art supplies for my daughters on the kitchen table. There would be markers, colored paper, books, Play-Doh, yarn for braiding, and other arts and crafts. When they came home from school, they got to make whatever they wanted. I was always on the lookout for toys that they could assemble and design themselves. The YouTube Kids app now has instructional videos for any kind of creative project you can think of.
Projects like these allow kids to imagine and experiment and, most important, play. Creativity flows from a sense of play, and it’s one of the easiest things to teach your child. Here’s a tip: Let them be. They will create their own imaginary worlds without any help from you.