Thursday, 11 January 2018

“Create a Creative Mind” By Ashwini Rao

Here is the post by Ashwini Rao whom I met in one of our momzmeet, at the very first meeting she was so full of life and positivity. Later she also volunteered for momspace meets, hosted couple of artsy activity for kids tagging along with moms during meets, and steer leading the vision board activity for mommies too. Since I met her first, whenever I see anything creative or colourful I think of Ashwini, she is dotting artsy mom who loves mess, sets limitless boundaries , and creates creative minds for kids as well as adults like me.

I 'm so thrilled to share her guest blog for our websites, because not only that she is special to me but also the topic she touched is very close to my heart. 

Create a Creative Mind 

By Ashwini Rao

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” said Albert Einstein.
There are multiple definitions of creativity. However creative process is made up of multiple components, most commonly – imagination, originality, productivity, problem solving skills and the ability to produce an outcome of value and worth.
Creativity provides a variety of intellectual, emotional and even health benefits to children. It also helps them become more confident, develop social skills and learn better.
Children are natural innovators and are born with high creative potential. They have powerful imaginations. 

However their creativity may be stifled if parents are not careful enough to nurture it and stimulate it. Here are a few simple ways to inculcate, stimulate and strengthen creativity in children;

Provide a creative space: 
Setting aside a space where your child can be imaginative is important. It need not be a fancy playroom, it could be a tiny corner with some Legos and some random everyday objects/ toys, or it could be a desk with some colours, papers, some craft supplies etc.

Provide the resources for creative expression: The key resource here is time. It is important to give your child unstructured time, maybe a few hours at home without activities scheduled, so your child can just mosey around and play.

Also provide some items in your child’s environment to stimulate their imagination – Crayons, paints, colored papers, blocks, books, puzzles, random craft supplies, sticks, leaves, tubes and magnets can all contribute to long dramatic play schemes.

Build a creative atmosphere at home: In addition to space and resources, it is important to set a creative atmosphere at home. Discuss creativity, ask your child to come up with lots of ideas, but resist the urge to evaluate and criticize them. Don't point out which ideas aren't possible, and don't decide which ideas are best. Don’t correct, ask why! Encourage your child to execute his/her own ideas, make mistakes and even fail. Children who are afraid of failure and judgment will curb their own creative thought. Children also have an amazing ability to be creative when they play freely on their own without a parent hovering over them all the time. Offer – but do not overcrowd.

Celebrate innovation and creativity at home: Cover your walls with art and other evidence of creative expression. Tell your child all about your favorite artists, musicians, and scientists. Share your passion for arts, architecture, music, books or photography.

Help your child activate his/her senses: Expose your child to the world so they can use all of their senses. Invest in experiences rather than things. Going to the library, museum, events, workshops and outdoors will encourage him/her to read for pleasure and participate in the arts.
Limiting TV time and other screen time will make room for creative activities like rehearsing a play, learning to draw, reading every book written by a favorite author etc. Inspire them to make up stories and write them down. Ask them to imagine what traveling to faraway places would be like – things they would see, people they would meet and all the fun things they would do.
Hone your child’s talent and help pursue his/ her passion: Pay attention to your child’s interests and provide all the required resources to pursue them further. Be it registering for weekly classes/workshops or buying books on the topic, provide things that are needed.

Take time and explore your own creativity: 
Since children learn from watching their parents, be creative too. Join your child while drawing or building or coloring. Find out what your creative outlet is and where you enjoy putting your creative energy in. It could be cooking, singing, gardening, drawing, dancing, writing or anything that holds your interest. If it has been a while since you’ve done something creative, think about what made you happy in your own childhood and spend half an hour doing that activity with your child. Children who watch their parents engage in some creative activities will take up those activities themselves.

Be OK with mess
When a child is in his/her creative element, it can get messy quickly. Learn to be OK with it. Next time your child wants to paint a toy, build a toy house, convert a box into a TV, make a sock puppet, have fun with sand art, make a sandwich or anything else that may seem absurd to you – make room for it or take it outside. You might have to struggle with a mess, but the creative benefits will outdo this fleeting inconvenience. When he/she is done creating, ask for their help to clean up.

Play with your child: 

Play and build dramatic play scenarios, using your own props if needed. Pretend play helps children imagine life from a different perspective, and is an important building block of creativity. Play games like ‘Continuing Story’ (one person starts the story and the others build on it), ‘Object Creation’ (creating something piece by piece with a limited set of random objects), ‘Clay Fun’ (making objects with clay/ playdoh), Pictionary, Dumb charades and the like.

While these are some of the simple techniques, there are so many ways to inculcate creativity in children and so many ways to develop it. I would love to hear what works for YOU!

Know more about Ashwini Rao...
A Mother by devotion, Artist by passion, Banking Consultant by profession, Ashwini Rao is a self-taught artist with a flair for bringing out the vivacity of life through vibrant colours in her paintings.  Ashwini hails from Karnataka, and worked in the IT field as a Senior Consultant for Banking & Financial Services.  

Ashwini has completed her Diploma in Commercial Arts. Her interest lies primarily in painting with oils, acrylic, fabric & glass colours. She conducts art classes on weekends and currently, about 25 students are training under her. Her daughter Aditi, who is also training under her, is a budding artist and has won multiple art contests at state and national levels.

Her works of art are displayed in art exhibitions in the past as well and received a warm response. Her dream is to pursue her life-long interest in art as a full-time career and start an art school in near future (The Color Factory).

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