Creative thinking is the jewel in the crown for young children. It is also the fore runner of problem solving and intelligent thinking and the importance of it cannot be underestimated.
Christmas is the perfect platform from which to dive into the magical/ mystical waters of Santa Claus and his menagerie. Creative thinking at your finger tips!!
What we have learnt about brain development is that structured formal learning really only begins at age seven, there is a very clear and marked change in the way the brain develops at this point. SO the more creativity you can encourage before this the more you will help your child’s development in the world of the new “Knowledge”
So how can we use Christmas, and more importantly Santa to help our children with their creative thinking … a few key tips from Annie Bonifant, teacher of Gift & Talented Children, NZ
- Children’s own play is far more creative than anything we can design for them so resist piling in with your knowledge. The fact finding or formal learning comes later.
- Encourage creative thinking using all your open ended questions such as “I wonder what, why, how…..? If we did this I wonder what would happen? For example: ...
- Allow your child to go into a world of their own. The oldest or an only child will more often have the imaginary friends, they have more time alone to develop this and are seeking company. Leave children alone and create this space for them. Imaginary friends and places are the very best.
- Let them make the rules for games you play there’s plenty of time later to have to learn and stick to the letter of the law. Enjoy the moment and run with them, who cares that the red card is on the yellow pile! Let yourself go too.
Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective
During the latter half of the 20th century, international thinking about education began to shift to a new paradigm. This shift was driven by an awareness of massive and ongoing social, economic and technological changes, and the exponentially increasing amount of human knowledge being generated as a result. International thinking began to seriously examine questions about the role and purposes of education in a world with an unprecedented degree of complexity, fluidity and uncertainty.
Knowledge Age/”21st century is seen as something that does things, as being more energy-like than matter-like, more like a verb than a noun. Knowledge, in the Knowledge Age, involves creating and using new knowledge to solve problems and find solutions to challenges as they arise on a “just-in-time” basis. These ideas about knowledge have emerged in the world outside education-driven in large part by economic, social and political changes, often facilitated by new technologies.
Author(s): Rachel Bolstad and Jane Gilbert, with Sue McDowall, Ally Bull, Sally Boyd and Rosemary Hipkins, New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education.