After my last post on the creative play of the neighborhood children and the comment on the post (thanks S.!) I've found myself thinking about the concept of developing creativity. In the early times of writing this blog I did a post on Creativity. I re-read that post and I have to say that three years later I still agree with myself. Creativity is within each of us, and we each need to have some way for creativity to flow through us.
I had never thought about the fact that most children's toys do not teach creativity. Oh yes, many are labeled as educational because they teach ABCs or numbers or shapes. But all the child does is push a button or some action. They really don't coach a child to think outside the box. Our schools don't emphasize thinking creatively, either. They really can't as they are "teaching the test" and/ or faced with budget restraints that prevent extra activities. But what about at home? Where's that pile of junk to build a playhouse and old clothes for dressing up?
Both of my grandson's love to play Legos; the four year old is just getting into them, but the nine year old is a serious aficionado. He has boxes and boxes of sets as well as a huge bin of Legos given to him years ago as a hand-me-down. While he does follow instructions included with the sets, he will occasionally strike out on his own and copy something from the Lego magazine he receives. I remember spending hours building with Tinkertoys and other friends having Lincoln Logs. I also remember spending several hot summer afternoons with my great aunt on her side porch, cutting out pictures from the Sears Roebuck (or was it Montgomery Ward?) catalog to past inside a box that was my "playhouse". Proof right there that children like being able to think creatively.
In taking college courses, I've heard instructors bemoaning their day students who are younger. Some of the comments are:
1) they have no common knowledge,
2) they can't think,
3) they don't want to make decisions when working on group projects because they've always had someone tell them what to do,
4) they argue about having to do assignments/they don't do assignments
What a sad comment on the more recent products of our school system. The whole problem is that they can't think and don't want to think. They have no creative thought process. What will they be like when they get into the work force? Or will they get there? I think I need to go think about that for a while.