How not to destroy children’s natural creativity but to teach them to embrace unexpected ideas, give nonconformist answers and to have the courage to think outside the box? Today we cannot predict what skills or knowledge will be useful to our children in 20 or 30 years. However, some things remain universal: flexibility and ability to adapt to new conditions. A research started several decades ago proves that preschool children who achieved high scores in creativity tests are today successful leaders in many fields, not only artistic. It appears that in order to succeed in life, creativity has a greater meaning than intelligence, knowledge or talent.
The Power of Creativity
What is creativity? It is the ability to see things in a different way, finding original solutions, the ability to create something new or to use what has already been invented in a new, surprising way. All children are creative, they have a natural tendency to fantasize and experiment. For imagination and creativity to play an important role also in their adult life, at Lalilu we provide the children with creative (and carefully designed) space as well as time to play. We cultivate spontaneity of child’s imagination and self-contained thinking and independence among children.
At Lalilu, children find answers to questions by themselves and they create non-obvious solutions to problems. This is accompanied by interdisciplinary projects, creativity trainings, culinary workshops, excursions and all forms of artistic activity. We paint, we get to know colours, textures and forms. We draw, weave and sculpt. We work with natural materials such as clay, paper, sticks, cones, stones, chestnuts or rowanberries. The art that we create is not a finished product to take home; the work may change many times and the materials are reused. This is because we are more interested in the creative process as such, and not the outcome. Each class is focused on the experience and the internal process.
We make sure that children have time for spontaneous, unguided play. This is when they can develop their imagination and social competences the most. They experience diversity of life, they make choices, influence the reality. By entering different roles while playing, children can learn how to cooperate, negotiate or solve problems or conflicts. They also experience risk taking and the impact of their decisions.
To stimulate children to come up with new ideas, we have numerous, diverse and grouped items in place at our preschool. The use of these objects has not been predefined. Contrary to traditional toys, such as fire engines or plastic fruits, in the case of which you don’t need a lot of imagination to enjoy – items at Lalilu (for instance fabrics, chestnuts or shells) provide endless possibilities to play with. Children are inspired by them, they make choices, discover their properties, assign new meaning and use them in a surprising way. This stimulates curiosity, triggers imagination and creative thinking.