Header image courtesy of Casita
If there is one superpower that can help us navigate today’s world of accelerated change and transition, it’s creativity. Call it innovation, agility, or simply being a strong problem solver, the number one skill that the modern world so desperately calls for all simmers down to being able to tap into those creative juices and generate new ideas.
Children are naturally gifted with a sense of curiosity and a drive to explore, and as they get older, this innate creativity tends to get bogged down by learned patterns of thinking. Exercising your kids’ creative muscles from a tender age should therefore be a priority to prime them for success in later life. But where does a parent begin? We’ve consulted with the experts at Casita to shed some light on how to foster creativity in children from a young age.
Right from the womb, we rely on our senses as our first points of contact with the outside world. As toddlers and children actively engage with their senses of touch, smell, hearing, sight, taste, movement, and balance to learn and process new experiences, they form the foundation of their cognitive development. The more sensory input they receive, the more they are allowed to explore and figure things out on their own, leading to the growth of new and stronger brain connections.
Whether it’s letting them sing and dance to music, play with building blocks, or get messy with finger paints, feeding your child’s curiosity by introducing sensory-rich activities into their daily routine can do wonders for unlocking creativity—not to mention, helping cultivate motor strength and dexterity!
While there is certainly a time and place for rules and instructions in play, over-direction can be stifling for creativity. Instead of focusing on achieving specific learning objectives during playtime and steering your children’s play in a prescribed manner, try taking a step back sometimes and letting them follow their own agenda. You’ll be surprised by the imaginative ideas they can bring to life with basic materials like playdough, dolls, and art supplies!
Open-ended, child-led play is a fantastic way to nurture’s your little one’s sense of wonder, giving them space to stretch their minds beyond the confines of pre-set instructions and discover their interests. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate at all—it’s equally important for parents to play a supportive role, attuning to their kids’ playing process, pace, and learning modalities!
Creative expression comes most naturally when children are in a space where they are not only stimulated, but also feel comfortable and confident. Both social and physical environments can impact how children grow creatively, so it is important to set up a positive and safe space for them to exercise their imagination.
Fostering a sense of belonging is key to helping them engage and express themselves more freely. Parents can further build up their children’s confidence in individual expression by showing appreciation for their creative endeavours and allowing them to make mistakes in the process. Conversely, over-correction risks quashing their desire to take risks and experiment with new ideas.
Creative and social development exist in mutual concord, often working in tandem to bolster one another. Just like how group activities inspire creativity by providing more scenarios, perspectives, and possible resolutions for children to contemplate; engaging in a creative task with others is also conducive to strengthening bonds and honing socio-interpersonal skills. Plus, it simply makes playtime a whole lot more fun! So turn up the music and put on a group dance party or let your kids act out a made-up story with their friends!
From pulling together the right materials to planning out group activities, a whole laundry list of factors come into play when attempting to create the most optimal climate to foster creativity in young children. And while every parent wants what’s best for their child, you don’t want playtime with your little one to become a source of stress. That’s where Casita swoops in to lend a helping hand, providing all the right ingredients to drive children’s creativity under one roof!
Casita is a reimagined family centre dedicated to nurturing children’s sense of wonder through music, dance, and child-led meaningful play. More than just a playgroup, it is a space where children can build a sense of community with others and fortify bonds with their families by playing and learning about the world together.
The centre’s all-new Casita Program combines internationally acclaimed music and movement programme Zumbini with their sensory-focused PODS (Play Oriented Discovery Sessions), offering a holistic and creatively-inspiring experience for children and their families. The Zumbini part of the programme encourages children to express themselves through song, dance, and instrument play while PODS provide opportunities for kids to engage with their natural environment and interact with others through sensory explorations, heuristic play, arts and crafts, and STEM activities. The programme is available in different age groups ranging from six months to four years old, as well as mixed-age groups so siblings and families can join together!
Casita additionally caters to flexible drop-in play sessions and host crafty workshops for kids aged two up at their Wunderspace. In the Wunderspace Workshops, children are given one hour to let their imagination run wild using recyclables and a variety of fun materials, working alongside others to create a communal art piece. There is a new set theme each week as a general prompt, but kids are free to follow their hearts and spontaneity in creation. Families are also welcome to drop by and play together while enjoying a complimentary snack or coffee!
Unlock your children’s creative potential now and sign up for one of Casita’s programmes or workshops!