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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nurturing Creativity in Children

Audrey and Nolan frequently show Brittney and their grandma (me) their own "talents" as they dance and sing in front of the television while watching America's Got Talent, and previously, American Idol (shown in the background).

This afternoon at lunch, while Audrey, Nolan, and I were discussing jugglers, Audrey wanted to know if jugglers could juggle pizzas and then catch them in their mouths one at a time while juggling the other pizzas.

After some discussion, we decided it might be better if they juggled pieces of pizza rather than the whole pie, because the juggler might have difficulty eating an entire pizza while juggling. (But then, what do I know about juggling?)

As we continued eating, Audrey's eyes got their familiar gleam as she looked at her glass. "I got an idea! Why don't jugglers try to juggle glasses of water!"

Now, THAT would be phenomenal if jugglers could juggle glasses of water, I told her.

I love her ability to conceive of ideas and I strive to nurture her creativity by applauding her ideas and discussing them with her (though I have to admit that sometimes I have to laugh).

Creativity doesn't always magically manifest into tangible products. How many patents sit in the patent office, even the 1,093 belonging to Thomas Edison, that haven't materialized?

Creativity is the ability to take two concepts, related or not related, and put them together in a completely new way. Children have minds that are so open to possibilities that creativity is just waiting to be nurtured. Natural explorers who are adept at asking why, children often come up with some pretty creative ideas (some very funny) and will present some very convincing arguments for their ideas if parents would only ask.

The next time your child comes up to you with a new idea, listen for that seed of creativity and nurture it. You might be surprised – and you might find some genius ideas sprouting!

The photo of Audrey and Nolan was posted in another blog Who Wants a Poppochino?

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