Creative classrooms are essential to a young child’s development because they provide an environment where students can express their ideas, think outside the box, solve problems and learn quicker and more successfully.
Young children have an amazing capability to express their visions of themselves and their surrounding world, so how can the classroom be modified to best support their evolving creativity?
Environment. The classroom atmosphere should mirror your encouragement and acceptance of mistakes, risk-taking, originality and individuality, along with a certain amount of clutter, sound and independence. By creating visual reflection displays, keeping your classroom layout adaptable and setting time aside each day for creative projects, your young students will have the creative freedom they desire without any restrictions.
Provide creative materials. Lesson plans are a necessity for every day teaching. By providing materials for students to think outside of the box, you’ll help enhance their creative thinking. When it comes to arts and crafts time, provide them with materials such as writing and drawing tools; materials for constructions and collages, such as buttons, rocks, shells, beads and seeds; and sculpting materials, such as play dough, slime, clay, and shaving cream.
Hold discussions and brainstorming sessions. Meaningful discussions can provide students with an arena to express new ideas and voice their opinions with one another. This will get them thinking more critically about the material and help them become better listeners and build off each other’s ideas.
Go on “field” trips. Young students relate creatively to their memories and surrounding environments. Taking them on nature walks, field trips or even observing an interesting plant or animal brought into class will broaden their creativity when making their next art project.
There is no “one right way” for helping young students achieve their creative potential. By continuing to experiment and test what works and what doesn’t, you’ll find out what is effective in your classroom and with your students.