The reality is, the entrepreneurial spirit of America is such that we should celebrate when a child discovers his free and creative spirit in the classroom. In fact, creative skills are just as important as academic skills because we know that this creativity in any organization leads to increased innovation and success. Companies like Apple, Walmart and Disney all started with a little hard work and a lot of imagination.
In our program at Miracle Moments, we have provided opportunities for creative expression in each classroom. One way we do this is through music. Plato once said, "Music gives flight to the imagination." This is why we sing songs to reinforce academic concepts, including languages. We also play music softly in the background throughout the day to help facilitate learning for children who are overactive or inattentive (i.e. soft music during Naptime or aerobic songs during Music & Movement).
Another great way a parent or teacher can encourage imagination and creativity in children is by providing objects with which children can play and experiment. These objects do not even need to be toys. It is amazing watching our students use their creative energy with such things as pots and pans, empty boxes and plastic dishes. We place these open-ended objects in each themed Learning Center in our classrooms in order to maximize imagination in playing house, store, restaurant and other scenarios.
These are just a couple of ways we reinforce creative expression in our children, knowing this skill will carry them far in life. So when you give your student or child a picture to color, and she turns it over and starts drawing her own picture, don't stop her. Sit back and watch her creative side blossom into something beautiful.