Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Inspiring Creativity in our Children

Don’t we all enjoy looking at interesting things? Have you ever wondered that a little ‘thinking out of the box’ can be ever so effective? Take for example, Post-it notes. There was a time when there was only one shape and colour of Post-it notes (we all remember using the yellow squares). And then slowly, they started being seen in different shapes, colours and sizes. Didn’t we all enjoy using them more excitedly then? Creativity is exciting and we need to share this excitement with our children right from an early age so that they learn to appreciate it. If we draw their attention to the creativity of other people, they will be inspired to do the same!

You can always find different creative sources of inspiration for children. Be it kites of different shapes and sizes as compared to the traditional diamond, bookmarks of different shapes and materials as compared to the traditional rectangular paper, and so on and so forth! Challenge your children’s little minds and subtly coax them to come up with something original.

The other day I came across this awe-inspiring video about a man making an entirely different kind of cotton candy. He uses the same ingredients and equipment but plays with different colours to make a flower- shaped colourful cotton candy. I showed it to my daughter and discussed it with her. We talked about his creative thinking and innovative skills and how he was moving away from the norm and making things more interesting. She seemed as awe-struck as me and instantly started thinking about other shapes that could be made with the same equipment!

Another area to open discussion could be creativity in food. Isn’t KFC’s ‘Chizza’ an amazing innovation? Who would have thought about doing away with the bread in pizza? It may fail terribly, but the idea is that someone tried to do something different. Their marketing department took the risk and tried and made it work.  Most restaurants we visit today have 8-10 flavours of dosas (Indian pancakes).  The other day, I visited a restaurant who was serving 99 Varieties of dosas! You can let your child's imagination run wild creating unique combinations of dosa fillings. 

Talk to your children about being creative and taking risks and giving things a shot … tell them that unless they take the chances, they will not know whether it will work or not. Show them that you value creativity and would be supportive of their efforts. You will see how your children will take to it and start thinking creatively and coming up with new ideas.

Have your children and you done anything creative over the past few days?  Do share your stories with other readers.  I am sure we can all learn something from each other.