How do you teach someone to be creative? How do you foster the creativity of a student? Creativity includes using imagination, curiosity, risk-taking, wonderment, flexibility, experimentation, breaking of boundaries, and openness to new perspectives. Creativity is about the process not necessarily the product. When my husband and I decided that I would teach preschool at home to our girl, I started to research Early Childhood education theories. I am a trained teacher. I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a certifications to teach All-level Art and Generalist studies from EC-8. I taught public school for 8 years; however I had never taught younger than 3rd grade. I came across REGGIO EMILIA, which is a post I’d love to write for another day. What I loved most about the Reggio Emilia approach was that the teacher doesn’t necessarily teach. She listens to the children. What are their interests? Then she creates areas that allows them to explore that interest and the children learn on their own.

Child-led learning and I was in love. This is what I wanted to be as an educator and a parent. This is the kind of learning environment I wanted to provide for my girl. I just didn’t know how to do it exactly with a just turned 2 year old at the time. Then I stumbled upon Mother Goose Time. It allowed me to bring Reggio Emilia to my home. MGT gives opportunities to explore and create in their Invitations to Create- inviting the child to use their own imagination to create after being inspired by a picture and materials set before them. No ones work is supposed to look like the other’s. It’s not copying- it’s being inventive and inspired. Above is Avaleigh hard at work creating her Earth. Paint was not one of the materials listed, but when I asked her what she would like to use to go along with the paper provided, she asked for paint.

She used it like glue. Carefully applying the paint to the back of torn pieces of blue and green paper and securely placing them on her paper plate. I would never had done that. MGT gives directions on how to create Make and Play crafts, but suggested taking it to the next level by allowing the child to PLAY with it as they saw fit. Avaleigh asked for more stickers to make her telescope and placed some inside the tube. Then she played with it around the house for the rest of the afternoon just observing things. STEAM stations give the opportunity for children to role play and be inventive. By creating a planetarium in your home with sheets and lights, kids become astronauts flying among the stars or they can pretend they are entering a cave of a giant bear. Or setting out red paper and egg cartons in sand allows them to travel to Mars or make some delicious mud pies! What kind of adventures will I get to hear my girl going on by just setting up areas for her to play? This thought process is challenging for me, too! It’s forcing me to grow as an educator for sure, but also as a parent. My patience grows as I bite my tongue from starting to tell her how I would do it. It’s putting aside what I want her work to look like and just watching my girl use the materials to make what she wants to from them. It’s a time where I need to close my mouth and open my eyes, relax. Let her do all the learning. Let her be creative. With Mother Goose Time’s help, I am cultivating creativity right here at home. Follow our adventures on FACEBOOK.

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