Creativity and innovation are skills that can’t really be taught, true! However, being aware of these skills can be. This is especially true for toddlers and young children who have just begun their learning journey and are constantly absorbing and acquiring new knowledge each day. Children naturally possess curiosity – a key quality that one needs to think creatively and innovatively.
For ages, curiosity has been one of the essential ingredients for many innovations and creations. Since children are naturally curious, we just need to guide the child’s curiosity in the right direction. As facilitators, we can then step in and guide them on their journey of self–discovery to innovative thinking.
As a parent, teacher, or facilitator, you are constantly doing this task, knowingly or unknowingly. So, we are simply summing it all up in a quick three-step checklist that you can refer to:
1. Introduce the “thinking” tool
When children learn to “think” on their own, they also “learn” to question. This is a crucial step for learning innovation. Answers served ready on a plate shall only be gulped down. Instead of responding to their questions with direct answers, introduce the “thinking” tool. Doing so, at this point might propel them in a forever-absolute direction of their journey.
2. Encourage “creativity”
Of course, this approach should be customized according to the child’s age, skills and interests. Using “creativity” as a tool here serves it best. Letting them work on learning-based projects with engaging themes, or play-based learning for younger kids, will stimulate the brain and unleash creativity in them. You’ll be surprised with the multiple and innovative solutions their brains would come up with, independently.
3. Sow a seed of ‘knowledge’
When you sow a seed, unarguably the plant sprouts out on its own. Likewise when concepts are taught (concepts and not facts), tiny sprouts of knowledge spring out and grow strong, deep-rooted, and independent. And as we know innovation cannot be taught, but experimented and self-learned, the knowledge acquired will guide the children to experiment more, self-learn, and create with sheer confidence.
Standing as a strong pillar that offers support and guidance as the child learns to discover himself is an overwhelming feeling that also comes with a great sense of achievement. Kudos to you for being able to do that relentlessly and continuing to fuel a child’s curiosity to help bring out the best of creativity and innovation.