Creativity is defined as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. It is something that seems to become much harder for us to do as we get older. As we play with our children how often do we find ourselves going back to concrete ideas such as teaching them about the way things work and why?
As therapists we often need to integrate creativity into our sessions in order to engage the child and to spark curiosity in their play. We might pose statements to our children such as, “I wonder if elephants can fly? Look my elephant’s trunk is also a magic wand!” These ideas allow the child to imagine another world that is different to the world they are currently in. They paint a picture in their mind and play a mini movie about what it could look like if that statement were to be true.
There has been a well-researched link between children gesturing with their hands and an improvement in children’s creative thinking. Gestures help people to think and can help problem solvers generate new ideas.
A study  published in the journal Physiological Science, found that children who gesticulated came up with more ideas than those who did not. In the study researchers explored the relationship between children’s spontaneous gesture production and their ability to generate novel uses for everyday items (alternative-uses task). There was a significant correlation between children’s creative fluency and their gesture production, and the majority of children’s gestures depicted an action on the target object.
In Experiment 2, the children were encouraged to gesture, and this significantly boosted their generation of creative ideas. These findings demonstrate that gestures serve an important self-oriented function and can assist creative thinking.
The benefits of creativity:
A few ways to get creative:
Goodluck getting creative with your child! Remember there is no right or wrong way to get creative.
We would love you to share your ideas and experiences with us.