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Creative Genius: How to Grow the Seeds of Creativity Within Every Child

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« Brainstorming: A Climate for Creative Growth | Main | Imagination Knows No Bounds »

Who Are The Creative Kids?


As the mom of two incredible kids, one special needs and one who was identified as “gifted,” and as a former teacher, I know that creative genius can arise out of any child anywhere. You cannot predict it by looking at typical classroom performance. My special needs daughter astonishes me with her ideas and handmade folk dolls as much as my gifted son does with his writing and acting abilities.

Many kids assumed to be “attention deficit” look like they're daydreaming, and maybe they are—in a good way! Your daydreamer could be laying the early foundations of a groundbreaking innovation he'll someday bring to fruition.

Dreamers’ Lib

The word, “daydream,” has negative connotations, such as apathetic, slow, and unmotivated. But the truth is almost always the opposite. What’s probably going on your child's head when he or she daydreams is original ideation, visualization, imagination, and creative thought. Respect it and help your child channel it into productive behavior. Allow your child to have unstructured time for exercising his active imagination.

Dreamers Make a Difference

Also, give your kid a break. If he’s overcome by a fascinating thought that has nothing to do with the history lecture going on, forgive him for spending a few moments on his path to change the world.

Don't get me wrong. I believe that a good education is essential. Knowledge plus creativity plus motivation is the magic formula that leads to achievement. All three need to be in the mix. But keep Einstein’s words in mind: Imagination is more important than knowledge.

When I was a child my teachers always thought I was daydreaming, but I wasn’t. I was imagining. Some of the things I imagined became sketches that evening, and some of those sketches would later become top selling products in the marketplace. By “later” I mean years later.

The world needs kids who imagine as much as it needs straight A students.

A Creative Playground

Provide your child with a Creative Playground at home. It consists of unstructured time for imagining, creating, and playing with ideas. Tell your child that creativity is a valuable part of his brainpower, and encourage him to exercise it.

Give your child access to basic supplies, such as pencils and paper, reference materials, construction toys, a magnifying glass—anything your child might enjoy that leads to discovery and self-expression.

Kids love having problem solving challenges, games, imaginative activities, thought prompts, and other idea sparkers to get their creative juices flowing. “Idea Catcher” notebooks are indispensable for kids to keep their ideas, observations, and sketches. Your child can make his or her own by decorating the cover of any notebook.

Kids crave opportunities to be creative. Give them a jump-start by providing the setting for creative growth at home or in the classroom.

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