Creativity and Learning in the Early Childhood and Primary School Years

Play as a Powerful Medium for Creativity and Learning

As new teachers and eventually experienced classroom teachers we must be aware that creativity and learning in our learners has no boundaries unless we are guilty of applying them. Our teaching strategies should positively reflect this. As teachers we need to understand  that children are creative beings. They have a natural curiosity which encourages them to gain an understanding, through exploration and experiment, of the possibilities in their environment.

Creativity and Learning

Play is the most powerful medium for children to explore and discover some of the richest creativity and learning experiences. Play is the vehicle used to practice and transfer skills learned, into the real world. The more creative children are, in their play, the more creative they may be in real life.

From birth, children explore and understand their environment through their senses. Through touching, hearing, seeing and responding to colours, textures sights and sounds in the environment the child develops the skill of being inquisitive. Creativity changes as we grow but we maintain creativity by reproducing it in different forms as we choose paths we wish to follow as adults.

Encourage Creativity and Learning in Learners by;

  • Allowing for individuality with an open mind, encouragement and respect. If children are required to do learning experiences in a set way then they are less likely to gain independence in those experiences.
  • Providing opportunities for creative activities. Planning experiences allows you to express your own creative flair and allows for evaluation and extension of your own and the learners ideas.
  • Look for and point out creativities within the subject curriculum. If the learners say it is boring, it probably is. Look for new and innovative ways of getting that concept across.
  • Broaden your ideas and ideals about creativity in all areas of learning. Search for elements of creativity in all learning and point them out to the learners. Ask for their ideas on how they would like to tackle a subject so it is more creative and learning more effective.
  • Look for elements of creativity. Is there a new concept to be explored? Is the content interesting and does it provoke new ideas and discussion? Is there any humour in it? Can it be extended into new areas depending on learners interests?
  • Allow learners to follow their own interests, use their imaginations and explore the possibilities of the information and materials given to them. This encourages learners to become more skilled and creative.
  • Make creativity part of you evaluation so you can encourage and nurture it within yourself and your learners.

We can be creative in almost all aspects of our lives involving originality of thought and expression. Creative teaching will result in creative learners so take a look at your own creativity and see if you are encouraging creativity and learning your learners.

Get creative with the power of plays

Edudemic has an interesting article on why creativity in the classroom matters more than ever.

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Heather Collins

Heather Collins is an Early Childhood and Special Education Teacher who makes developmentally appropriate resources for teachers and parents to use with their children. She is author and co-author of poetry books and children’s books. She is a passionate collagist and has crafted beautiful finger puppets and story aprons suitable for early childhood education.

Her resources can be purchased on this website or she can be contacted at Create-Ed by emailing heathercreated@gmail.com. You can order an original apron for any favourite storybook.

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