Creative Expression

Children learn, develop critical skills, and have fun when provided the opportunity for creative, artistic expression. Painting, coloring, writing, making music, and making crafts are all creative activities. Creative expression helps children articulate their feelings and thoughts. They think critically about their world and practice visual communication. Young children learn colors, shapes, and sounds during creative play. They begin to understand cause and effect. When children dance, they get physical exercise and develop coordination and balance.

Encouraging creative expression is easy in both indoor and outdoor playspaces. Include designated spaces for creativity, such as a music room, area, or panel. Outdoor playspaces can include areas for chalk drawing and art panels, while indoor playspaces can have an art room for drawing and painting. Even better invite artists to come and paint or sculpt with the children as part of your camp or programming activities.

Helpful links:

Gable, S. (2000). Creativity in young children. Human Environmental Sciences Extension. http://muextension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/hesguide/humanrel/gh6041.pdf

Griffith, Susan. (1999). Children who play creatively show best creativity and problem-solving later. http://www.cwru.edu/pubaff/univcomm/russplay.htm?nw_view=1251730036&

Lopes, M. (1993). Creative play helps children grow. Education Oasis. http://www.educationoasis.com/resources/Articles/creative_play.htm

MacPherson, K. (2004). Experts concerned about children’s creative thinking. Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04228/361969.stm