Creativity manifests in many ways—it doesn't just happen through the act of making art. It is a process that inherently exists in how we think and engage with the world around us. Creativity offers moments for curiosity, communication, and imagination to blend together into an opportunity to find joy and connection. Creativity is not just for artists, but rather something for everyone to utilize.
At The Ellis School’s recent Girl Talk webinar, Wintertime Wonder: Finding Creativity and Joy in the Everyday, a group of artists and educators shared how the creative process provides a multitude of opportunities for children to problem solve and explore possibilities. Here are four skills girls gain when they learn to think creatively.
As Linda Tonetti Dugan, Ellis’ Visual Art Department Chair shared, “Creativity is a form of problem solving. Being a creative problem solver is being open to new ideas, new perspectives, and ways of thinking.”
When kids are equipped with a creative mindset, they learn to explore ideas and problems through a new lens. Instead of thinking of challenges as roadblocks, they’ll see them as a precursor to innovation and an opportunity to embrace non-traditional materials and processes. By abandoning the notion that there’s only one way to do things, girls can unlock new pathways and portals to success and solutions. They’ll learn that thinking creatively and problem-solving go hand-in-hand in many professional fields, not just in the arts.
Engaging in the creative process offers experiences that can help young people develop necessary life skills such as communication. Often, the creative process begins with an observation and a conversation. Parents can encourage kids to observe closely, to explore what they see going on around them, and to communicate what they wonder while they work on a project, go on a nature walk, or while they look out the window in the car. Through this process, kids begin to cultivate foundational life skills that can be applied to everyday life. Engaging in these small everyday tasks offers a safe space for girls to try new things, take risks, and to communicate through challenges.
Creating provides an opportunity to collaborate and connect with others. Girl Talk panelist and multimedia artist and educator Sarah Zeffiro shared, “Through creativity, we get to know one another and learn about ourselves through the process. We learn that our ideas are all connected.”
Families can support their children's development and ability to collaborate with others by working together toward a common goal. This can be something as simple as drawing together, using recycled materials to build a castle, or by simply cooking a new recipe together. These collaborative activities prepare girls to learn how to work in diverse teams and tussle with difficult problems which leads to a sense of belonging and community.
When girls see possibilities all around them, instead of seeing what they don't have, it creates space to find joy and creativity in their everyday life. Even considering a material in a new way, or transforming it from its original use can infuse it with new value. When adults not only support kids but themselves in being open to discovery, we all learn things we didn't even know were possible. Young people who look at life with a positive outlook and attitude can often find ways to create something entirely new or innovate an unexpected solution.
Learn more about the power of creativity and tune into the virtual webinar, Wintertime Wonder: Finding Creativity and Joy in the Everyday.