A walk in the rain, a seed planted in a flower pot, a magnifying glass, colorful leaves, a thank-you note to Grandma, a castle made with blocks—the ideas for creative growth are all around us. They extend to your own interest areas, too. Young children like nothing better than to be included in your activities and hobbies, even if it’s cooking, auto repair, or carpentry. To help children keep and expand the creativity of their early years requires understanding:
• Recognize that everything is new for your students. “Everything” includes the sky, clouds, rain, stars, and wind, and extends to tiny insects, pebbles, snowflakes, and leaves that most adults seldom notice. After all, small children are often a couple of feet closer to them than we are!
• Accept the idea that the exciting world comes to them through their eyes, but also through sounds, tastes, and smells, and by way of their fingertips, too.
• Realize that we have to show interest to help them retain theirs, but it’s foolish to fake it. Most children, even young ones, are alert to adults acting as thought they enjoy childhood games, when those games are really a bore to them.
• Emphasize that the pictures they draw, the sounds and words they create, and the body movements they make are their very own. They are as much theirs, and theirs alone, as are their fingerprints.