Encouraging Creativity At Your Day Care

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 The safety and well being of the kids at our day care is our primary responsibility as providers.  Although we may often feel as though we are merely umpiring bedlam we are not simply caretakers but facilitators, charged with the important task of developing every aspect of these growing individuals.  Encouraging creativity and imagination is a vital aspect of this facilitation role.  Children are guaranteed a richer and more complete life if we have opened the door to multiple creative outlets.  Here are some pointers on opening those doors.

 Expose kids to the arts, culture and beauty whenever possible will help them to grow to appreciate and recognize same.  Organize short visits to the local art gallery, museum, library and view various types of art.  Try to arrange trips to see plays or musical performances, simply play different types of music at the day care and get the kids moving and dancing.  Encourage creativity in cooking activities, playing with sand or water, arrange nature walks and point out the natural beauty that exists all around us.  Read and encourage reading.  Have a vibrant lively story time involving made up stories that ramble and grow thus leading into miniature dramatic plays.  Anything goes.

 A love of music is naturally inbuilt into kids.  Get the musical instruments out (improvise with household items if necessary), let them rock out (suffer the headache…it’s a good cause!).  Begin having theatrical, singing workshops that breathe life and vibrancy into songs.  The subsequent endeavors may well be dubious (songs that are vaguely punk rockish rather than melodious, artistic attempts that resemble puke) but all expression should be praised and discussed. 

 Creativity demands that there be mess so allow it.  Neat and tidy playrooms tend not to encourage creative spirits so put your happy face on, roll up your sleeves and revel in the mess.  Laying newspapers, spreading a tarp and using art aprons can help minimize some of the damage.  Don’t attempt to direct the artistic efforts unfolding around you just let them develop.  Freedom of expression leads to personal works of art no matter what age the artist.   If your help is requested lend a hand, discuss works in progress, ask questions but avoid critiques.

 Many and wondrous are the benefits of imaginative and creative play.  Children feel unthreatened in imaginary situations and are more likely to experiment with their verbal skills.  Active problem solving and expression of fears or concerns are also encouraged via role play.  Creativity can help unlock hitherto untapped talents leading to increased confidence in a child.  Welcome to the magical land of the imagination where boredom is no more!

 

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