In Singapore’s pragmatic society, creativity is often sidelined to give way to more ‘tangible’ and ‘executable’ tasks. However, studies such as Australia’s Early Years Learning Framework have proven that creativity is linked to learning outcomes like a strong sense of identity, well-being, confidence and effective communication. Below, SC discusses why parents shouldn’t suppress their kids’ fantasies.
Why Should Parents Encourage Children To ‘Daydream’?
Daydreaming is a creative exercise that actually strengthens the way our imagination connects things together and tries to make sense of the world we live in. A child who daydreams can try on a myriad of identities, take risks from the safety of his imagination and conceptualise the person he’s growing into. Also, daydreaming allows children (and adults!) to rest their brains.
How Does That Help With Their Development?
Playing is still learning. When we play, we exercise our imaginations in exciting and unconventional ways. Not only is it fun, daydreaming and imaginative play are conducive to self-confidence, thinking outside the box and developing problem-solving skills – by expanding our mental facilities, we can then discover our true potential.
Why Is Breaking Conventional Notions With Vivid Imagination Acceptable And Important?
People have the notion that imagination and conventions are two separate and different entities, but the truth is that you can’t function in the world without a vivid imagination. Whether dealing with problems at home and work or empathising with others, it’s always useful to let children envision the possibilities in their mind before any resulting stakes play out in the real world.
What Can Parents Do To Help Encourage Creativity?
Take play seriously. Encourage children to pursue their interests, even if they don’t quite understand it. Expose them to the arts more broadly – it is crucial to provide both exposure to professional work and personal opportunities to write, dance, draw, act, etc. There’s no need to buy expensive toys; instead, show them that there are alternative ways of looking and playing with things. In other words, let your kids be kids!
Originally published in “Creativity and Your Child”, written by Juansa Arissa Cheng, in Singapore’s Child May 2016.