Child Creative Development News
Highlights of articles from around the world on child creativity and creative development.
Getting your child ready for kindergarten
Tips for getting your preschooler ready for kindergarten are discussed in "Preparing your child for a smooth transition to kindergarten," by Neil Schoenherr of Washington University, St. Louis. Schoenherr presents the views of Andrea Atkinson, director of the Washington University Nursery School.
Atkinson makes such recommendations as talking positively about the experience and answering questions honestly such as about toys and friends.
She also recommends visiting the school to let the child become familiar with specifics of the surrounding prior when the first day when it's full of strangers.
In advance of that first day, she suggests getting them used to a routine, such as bedtime and meals. She also suggests teaching them to be more independent in little ways such as getting shoes on and off, zipping a jacket or using Velcro.
Read the whole article on this important stage in child development at:
Make way for the new creative breed of Indigo Children
Are they "a distinctly different group of children" that has been born onto the planet over the last couple of decades? They are according to Lee Carroll and Jan Tober in their book The Indigo Children. In "Traits of Indigo & Crystal Children" on BellaOnline by Lauren Ravenstar, Indigo Children are described as "a boy or girl who displays a new and unusual set of psychological attributes, revealing a pattern of behavior generally undocumented before." Some of those traits include being independent & headstrong, creative and easily bored. Indigo children are also attributed psychic abilities and an unusual intuitive sense. Unfortunately, they are also often as having attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD). Consequently, such diagnoses often lead to their being over- medicated and the Indigos often lose their beautiful sensitivity, and spiritual gifts. Read more about this creative new generation here:
"Acting Up" is encouraged in Utah schools.
Acting Up is one of 15 arts groups making up the Artistic Resource for Teachers and Students, (A.R.T.S.) in Utah. The wonderful creative experiences it brings to children is described in "A.R.T.S. in the schools," an article in The Salt Lake Tribune by Janine S. Creager.
Acting Up is a theater troupe that teaches the fundamentals of acting and theatrical performances to children, working with the school systems in the area. In extolling the benefits of teaching the arts in school, Kristie Engar, an Acting Up member, says, "The arts give confidence, and can help improve a child's creativity." Another point made in the article is that children who are not necessarily good at tests find something they can excel as they find creative expression on the stage. Engar adds, "we've made a point of having [programs and activities] that every child can succeed at."
The following articles are no longer posted online, but we thought you might still get something out of knowing about them.
How, when and why children play with others.
In "Child's Play" by Ann Douglas in Pregnancy and Baby magazine, the author describes the ages and stages of learning to play. Infants, toddlers and older children are all learning different socialization skills at different stages of their development. Ms. Douglas gives an overview of the different stages and points out that although parents might worry if a child seems to be playing alone too much, it's probably because they may be developing socially at a different rate from their peers.
This article is no longer available online.
Using the arts to teach other subjects.
Florida's Appalachia Elementary School is a magnet school profiled for its creativity with lesson plans. In "At Appalachia, there's art to teaching" by Desiree' Pulley of the Tallahassee Democrat, the reporter describes how schools décor as well as lesson plans are conducive to learning. The school's focus is on visual such as arts, music and drama, and their use a teaching technique. Children learn the Civil War though drama, African songs through music, animals through drawing.
That's how we like to teach at Appalachia, "But the key is that we are teaching the children as well," said Pam Brewster, a visual arts teacher. "Yes, they create a puppet theater for the middle Ages, but we also talk about the history, read books and write papers. But they are introduced to this era through art, and that's what sticks." And the results are reported to be amazing. (Sorry, but this article is no longer available online.)
Is it right, wrong or creative?
When the daughter of Marlys Stapelbroek was in first grade, her teacher gave her a rectangular sheet of paper and told her to cut it the long way. The child cut it diagonally. Although it wasn't what the teacher had in mind, it was the longest cut you could make on the sheet of paper. Unfortunately, however, her teacher told her she was wrong.
Ms. Stapelbroek uses that example to make a case for nurturing creativity in children at early ages, and how creative teachers who prize creative responses can make a world of difference. The comments are in a letter to the editor in response to an article in PHYSICS TODAY, June 2005 by Lee Smolin entitled "Why No 'New Einstein'?" While the article makes a case for nurturing creativity at the graduate college level and beyond, Ms. Ms. Stapelbroek uses her children's experiences as examples of how valuing creativity and nurturing it from infancy has the greatest benefits. (Sorry, but this article is no longer available online.)
The best educational toy a baby can play with is you
That's the philosophy of an educational DVD that presents that the beat way to improve your baby's ability to learn is to spend time playing with it. The goal of the DVD is to show how you can use play to help your baby better understand the world around it. The DVD describes one type of play being imaginative play - make believe and role playing that are vital to early learning, even in infants. The ability to create an imaginary world is a major milestone in your baby's development.
In this review of Imagination, one in the Baby2 series of infant development DVDs, Alison Martyn recounts her own experiences of watching the DVD with parents of different age infants and toddlers.
(Sorry, this review is no longer available for viewing online.)
Getting little imaginations ready for school.Going to kindergarten is an important step for young children, however, the transition can also be challenging for both kids and their parents. While some children begin showing early signs of an interest in school, it's not necessarily always the case. In "Is your child ready for kindergarten?" on South Bend's WNDU TV 16, the story reported that there are some things that parents can do to work with children to prepare them for this big setup. Simply playing board games with a child can teach the simple social skill of taking turns with others. Another thing the story suggests that parents can do is involve the child in activities that encourage imagination, such as playing with building blocks or modeling dough. (This article is no longer available online.)
Creative development with educational toys that get back to basics.
All the glitz and technology and hype and expense of electronic media and video games aren't as stimulating to children as something as basic and fundamental as blocks. That's the opinion of a group of teachers known as "Truce" or Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment. In "Teachers Warn Parents About Electronic Toys" by Brooke Hale on kbcitv.com, according to Truce, "entertainment linked to television, computers and video games, could rob your kids of creativity." Toy store owner Jeanne McCullough is quoted saying basic toys are more stimulating to children. While the simplicity of blocks makes they ofter overlooked in the category of "educational toys," toys such as blocks get children to use their imagination simply through the processes of stacking and creating structures ranging from the basic to the fantastic.
"Truce" put out an educational toy action guide that lists toys that are both good and bad for a child's creativity and growth. Some of the toys on their list includes giant blocks, Magnetos jumbo magnetic construction sets, modeling dough, art supplies and easels, dress up games, a 16-note harmonica musical toy and more. The article also presents arguments for some electronic educational toys, in moderation. (Sorry, but this article is no longer available online.)
Creative and imaginative play are part of a child's healthy diet.
In "The three ingredients for a good play diet" in England's News.telegraph.com, Sarah Womack reports on a study by the
International Play Association that says parents need to stimulate children with three types of play - creative, imaginative and physical. Physical play is the obvious - chasing, balancing, playing with water and cycling. Imaginative play is acting or dressing up. Creative play is painting, making models, cooking and singing "without overpowering supervision from parents who are often more focused on the end-product than the process". The report was received with some controversy by parents who felt they knew better, but the association said the report was recommending giving children time, space and permission to do things, and stressing the importance of maintaining a balance between the three play categories. (Sorry, but this article is no longer available online.)
Try an educational toy before you buy
An educational toy library has opened in Cape Town South Africa where parents and educators can borrow educational toys such as puzzles, books, compact discs and audio cassettes free of charge. An article in Western Cape City Vision describes how there are now ten municipal facilities offering toy library services in the region. The story quotes the city's director of social development saying that "educational material and toys are crucial in the holistic development of a child." (Sorry, but this article is no longer available online.)
Make the most of creative opportunities. In “Bump up your child's creativity”, in the Shreveport Times, a number of techniques are presented to take advantage of every opportunity to make your child as creative as can be. In the article, author Doreen Nagle covers a range of ideas such as taking art supplies with you when you travel to adding creative decorative touches to their rooms. One simple idea suggested in the article is to choose toys that let children exercise their creativity and use their imaginations rather than “just pushing a button.” The article also recommends that parents and caregivers have fun in the creative process with the child. (Sorry, this article no longer posted online)
Innovative Outlook from India
We've seen a lot of news coverage of innovative educational and child development programs in India. In "CDC holds seminar on child raising" reported in the Ludniana Newsline, the community's CDC (child development center) is profiled on a recent seminar they hosted on raising children to be successful and confident individuals. Views were expressed on the importance of instilling confidence in children at an early age by providing activities and programs in which they could succeed in and take pride in their achievements. They also emphasized the importance of appreciating any work created by the child. It was also stressed that art, music, dance and sports activities should be organized to suit every age.Sorry, this article is no longer available on line.
According to Dr Preetam Singh, former principal of Khalsa College of Education, Amritsar, India, it is the foremost duty of parents to select the right school in which creativity and imagination of children can be given a prominent place in the learning process. He said, "Don't make the child your photo static copy. Act like a gardener by providing a very congenial atmosphere to your child for growing up as a confident human being.''
Teachers awarded for creative learning programs
Eleven teachers in the Loveland, Colorado area were rewarded with a grant by the Thompson Education Foundation for creating the most original learning programs. The subject areas cover arts such as music, writing and performing puppet shows. Grants were also given for developing creative ways to teach and demonstrate genetics, math, forestry, biology and other subjects. There was also a reward for a program to parents of students to instruct them on how to help their children become better writers.
One of the grants went to a program called "From the Picture Book to the Puppet Stage" and had students writing and performing puppet shows based on their favorite children's stories. (Sorry, this article is no longer posted online.)