Research published by the University of Edinburgh suggests that children born in the Eighties are more creative than those of today –mainly because today’s kids are spending less time outdoors playing together. I so see this from my own experience my sonm will often say he is bored (a word I hate and one I don’t think I have ever felt – except in maths at school) When I was little we played versions of dibby for hours poicked wildflowers, played sports, hiding and a million and one made up games for hours.
Now apparently only 54% of children ever play outdoors, meaning they are becoming less inclined to use their imagination. Although the report has found that 69% of British parents think creativity is vital for their children’s development, (only 69%????) many are unsure of how to encourage it, and 1 in 5 admit to leaving the task in the hands of schoolteachers and playgroups! I think thats really sad.
Worryingly, 1 in 7 parents spend less than an hour a week dedicated to their children’s creativity needs.
The research has prompted an initiative by mimi babybel to encourage families to get creative. Starring ther rather gorgeous Jeff Brazier, a video using the theme of The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party has been made to help highlight the importance that creativity plays in a child’s development. It gives some top tips on how parents can get involved.
Alongside video, Professor John Davis of The University of Edinburgh has also suggested a list of 15 things parents can do with their children, designed with creativity and fun in mind. The list can be found at www.babybel.co.uk. and includes these gems …
What about role play and drama – can you use household materials to make hats or masks? Ask children what their hat would be about and then encourage them to create a role play game with their friends/school mates – alternatively they could use dolls or play figures
Pretend your coat is a magic carpet – where in the world will it take you?
On rainy days, blow up a balloon and have a quick game of keeping the balloon up using hands, arms, feet, toes, heads, noses, knees – it’s a great way to teach young children different words, to develop hand/eye coordination and to keep older children fit (and much safer than the football!). With older children you could add in a bit of numeracy by rolling a couple of dice to see how many times you have to keep the balloon up
I dont think it would hurt any of us to be more creative