Welcome to Keeping Creativity Alive! A place created to support and inspire parents, caregivers and educators to cultivate the creative capacities in children starting in the early years… starting at birth! Why? Two reasons:
1) We are living in times of massive change ~ the future is uncertain. The 21st century calls for individuals who are capable of generating new ideas, creative and integrative thinking and who possess qualities such as ‘resilience and flexibility’.
2) When we are tapping into our creative potential we are following our intrinsic motivations (what makes us tick) which leads to personal fulfilment, joy and living whole heartedly. (Yes, I’m a big fan of Brené Brown!)
BE AWARE. BE INSPIRED. BE CREATIVE.
A big part of keeping creativity alive is being aware, being inspired and being creative. Be aware of ways in which you can support creativity in your child (and be careful to not unintentionally suppress it). What makes a person creative and what makes a person think they are not? How is creativity nurtured? What role do parents play in establishing attitudes and skills for nurturing creativity in children? What are all the ways to nurture creativity in our children and in ourselves?
These are questions that will be explored on this website to uncover a deeper understanding of the nature and nurturing of creativity. Check back often as new information will be added to the blog regularly.
What does it mean to ‘be creative’?
We will break down the higher order thinking skills required for creative problem solving and you will explore ways to inspire creative thinking both in yourself and in the children in your life. Yes, creative thinking skills CAN be developed.
These qualities can be nurtured in children in the early years, from birth to age six. In fact, I believe the early years are crucially important years for establishing a creative mindset.
It is well documented in the literature that parents play a critical role in establishing a strong foundation for children’s growth and development (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 2010). Nurturing creative growth as part of early childhood development can and should be a priority for parents, not only to prepare their children for the 21st century economy but also to enable them to live life to their fullest potential (Millar, 2002).
What will I find here?
What you can expect to find at Keeping Creativity Alive is guidance, resources, support and inspiration for ways in which you can nurture creativity in yourself and in the children in your life. You will find ideas for ways to encourage an attitude for creativity, activities to practice creative thinking skills starting with young children, creative problem solving tools for families and much more!
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A
~ Julia Cameron
I believe we are all born creative.
The foundation of my philosophy is my strongly held belief that we are all born creative. Research with babies reveals “we are born with the ability to discover the secrets of the universe and of our own minds, and with the drive to explore and experiment until we do” (Gopnik, Meltzoff & Kuhl’s, 1999).
I believe attitude is key to creativity.
I believe attitude is the drive to all other factors that impact creativity. I believe mindset is the key to creativity. Mindset provides the ability to overcome perceptual barriers. Dweck’s (2006) research on mindset reveals how our beliefs, especially beliefs about ourselves, largely inform and guide our lives.
I believe vision is a requirement of creativity.
“True creativity is impossible without some measure of passion” (Amabile, 2007). Vision and passion are inextricably tied when it comes to pursuing a motivation to create something new. Keeping vision in mind sets intention, which is said to be the “seed of creative thinking” (Michalko, 2011).
I believe creativity can be nurtured and developed through deliberate practice.
One of the biggest misconceptions about creativity is that one needs to reach the level of ‘genius’ such as da Vinci, Einstein or Mozart to be creative. “The truth is creativity is not just for geniuses” (Millar, 2001). Creativity is a skill that can be developed through deliberate practice.
I believe creativity requires some measure of passion.
Passion fuels desire which fuels vision which is a requirement for creativity. Amabile (1989) explains “the desire to do something because you find it deeply satisfying and personally challenging inspires the highest levels of creativity, whether it’s in the arts, sciences, or business” (p. 63).
I believe our early interactions with babies and children influence their attitude and creative expression.
This component of my philosophy is where the heart of inspiration to study creativity lies. I believe parents play a significant role in shaping children’s values, morals and attitudes and I believe these attitudes impact a child’s relationship with creativity.
CULTIVATING CURIOSITY, IMAGINATION, AND CREATIVE CONFIDENCE
Get FREE tips to cultivate creativity in your life.
“DON’T BE AFRAID TO FALL IN LOVE WITH
SOMETHING AND PURSUE IT WITH INTENSITY.”
~ E. Paul Torrance
I’m passionate about supporting parents in nurturing creativity in children.
My vision is to teach, inspire and support parents, caregivers and teachers to nurture creativity in young children around the world.
I intentionally set my vision on a big scale with a global focus because I believe that I have valuable information and I want to share it with the world. I believe that the amazing work completely by creativity scholars such as Torrance, Williams, Taylor and Amabile (to name just a few) need to be widely known so that parents and caregivers and teachers realize the importance of creativity and understand that creativity is an essential life skill that can be developed (Puccio et al., 2012).
I want to elevate the importance of creativity in the minds of parents. I want anyone who is parenting or teaching to understand the impact their interactions have on a child’s creative development.
Lina’s Creativity Story:
From a young age I wanted to be an artist. I drew. I painted. I created things and I spent my childhood living artfully. Creativity (although I called it ‘art’) was my passion. I followed my artistic vision by completing a Fine Art Degree followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Interactive Multimedia that led to a successful career in Interactive Marketing for one of Canada’s largest advertising agencies. Over the span of my career in digital marketing my view of what it meant to be creative shifted. I went from thinking about creativity as visual design (and the arts in the traditional sense) to creativity as ideas – conceptualizing ideas, designing immersive online experiences and collaborating with creative team members.
My entire life I identified with being creative and now I was ‘a creative’ in the advertising sense and this meant pressure to innovate – big time. Again, I thought about my creativity in a new way. I thought about creativity as in: how do I solve this problem? How do we deliver on this creative brief in new and innovative ways?
My life’s focus at the time was shifting from career to family as I had married and was moving towards starting a family. In 2007, while pregnant with my first child, I attended my first Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference (CPSI) and it was at that time I was introduced to the study of creativity as a discipline – creativity as problem solving.
Attending the conference marked a significant turning point in my creative path. Learning the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process in my Springboard training session opened my eyes to a world of possibility.
I participated in a creative problem solving session that helped a man go from despair in his engineering job of thirty years, to hope and excitement of working towards his lifelong dream of becoming a writer. It was in that moment that I truly realized the power of creative thinking.
During my time at CPSI I, too, took a deeper look at my career path and asked myself:
“How can I use my creativity for full personal and professional fulfillment?”
Then came a life-changing event: the birth of my first child.
My baby girl was born January 9, 2008. I spent the entire 2008 year tending to my new baby girl. I was in love and wanted nothing but the best for her. I watched her eyes focus on an object as she observed and processed information and wondered:
How might she grow to be someone who felt creative? What could I do to nurture her creative potential?
I read every parenting book I could get my hands on and did my best to stay attune to my instincts in responding to her needs. I considered the significant role climate plays in creative freedom, flow and uninterrupted focus and intrinsic motivation, at the time not knowing about Ekvall, Csikszentmihalyi or Amabile. I instinctively began tying these connections to my precious new baby and considered the questions:
How is creativity developed? How is it nurtured?
I searched for literature on creativity and early childhood development only to find very little. Yet, I was making personal observations and connections related to parenting approaches and the effects of nurturing or hindering creativity. My observations in playgrounds, libraries and play dates raised many questions such as: What is the affect of parents’ attitudes in relation to a child’s creative development?
These questions led me to pursue a Masters in Creativity at the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC) where I have deepened my understanding yet again of what it means to be creative.
Over the last several years I have been engaged in this work of discovering what it means to be creative and how we can learn to be more creative. I am convinced that parents play a critical role in establishing creative attitudes in children right from the start – from birth. That is my story.
Thank you for reading! I welcome you in joining me on this journey of discovering ways we can inspire creativity in the little people around us while nurturing our own creativity!
BE AWARE OF CREATIVE MOMENTS.
OBSERVE, CELEBRATE AND BE CREATIVE.
CHECK OUT OUR CREATIVE MOMENTS.