Kindergarten readiness and creativity are not opposites; creativity is an important strategy for learning and thinking for children of any age. The importance of creativity has recently been recognized in industry and business. In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, “Creativity has become the new literacy.” He strongly believes that we need to nurture the imagination of every child and develop creativity.
Sir Ken explains the difference between imagination and creativity. Even though we might be able to imagine endlessly, to be creative we actually need to create something. That’s where Lego is so valuable. Kids can build practically anything, exercising and stretching both imagination and creativity as they play.
Although Lego and Duplo bricks are rectangles and limited because they can’t bend or be squished into other shapes, they can be used in a never ending variety of ways. Kids can build a structure and later use the same blocks to create an entirely new one. Hundreds, even thousands, of children can be given the same blocks and each will make something different. Wheels and people increase the choices for play.
We are not born with a particular amount of creativity and that’s all we get. Like many other strategies, creativity can be influenced. It can be both encouraged and discouraged. Unfortunately, recent research is showing that the level of creativity of children today is less than it was 10 or 20 years ago. We can nurture it by giving children opportunities to explore and to create.
These photos are from a display at our local library. Children were asked to show something about the Olympics. Some of the kids did, but with Lego, an idea can change completely, depending on what the child wishes to express. While the saying goes that “Play is in the child, not the toy,” there is an amazing interaction between kids and Lego that encourages play. What can your child create?