Schools are under a lot of pressure to make the right decisions, and this includes when it comes to the sorts of lessons they are putting in their curriculums, and other activities that they include within the school day. How can you boost creativity in schools? What are some of the activities that can keep kids engaged?
If you are a school decision-maker then you might be wondering how you can boost creativity in school. In this guide, we’re exploring the reasons why creativity is so important. We also explore how you can garner a sense of creativity and encourage children in your classes to be more creative. In turn, this normally leads to a much more successful school.
You have an amazing number of options for including creativity in school. But first, let’s look at the benefits of creativity.
Benefits of Creativity in Schools
Many people have a misunderstanding of creativity. Virtually everyone in the world is creative in one way or another. Whether you have a penchant for drawing or writing, or you are musical, or you are just a great problem solver. All of these things involve forms of creative thinking.
This is one of the reasons to focus so heavily on creativity within a school environment. Benefits include:
- A creative outlet for students. Being creative can relieve stress and help with your health. Kids can sometimes be overloaded within schools so having an outlet like this can be really valuable.
- A chance to develop different ways of thinking. Creative thinking is a way to solve problems. Taking a creative approach is one of the very best ways to solve stubborn problems in life and work.
- Creativity helps brains develop. It has been proven that hobbies that encourage creativity, including piano and other instruments, can help young brains to develop.
- Many creative activities encourage collaboration. Helping kids learn how to work together is one of the other key benefits of creativity. For instance, if they are making music together, writing, or producing artwork together.
- Creative activities can teach discipline. If a child wants to get to the point where they are good at the piano, or to produce beautiful artwork, then there is every chance that they will need to persevere. Learning skills requires a level of discipline, and creativity is the ideal way to teach this.
- Creativity can provide a break from other activities. Having a creative activity in the curriculum is a way to give kids a rest and an outlet from things like Math and Science. These are crucial, but too much of them throughout the day can make kids burn out.
According to Orchids International School, “one study found that when adults were asked if someone could use all six sides of a cube with images drawn on each side so that every image was seen just by rotating the cube, those who did not do any creative activities could solve the problem with an average of only one to three minutes. However, people who had done a boosting activity beforehand solved the dilemma in less than thirty seconds on average!”
These are just some of the benefits of creative activities. Many of us have experienced this in our own lives. Have you ever taken up a new, creative hobby that has opened up doors for you or even helped you to see the world in a different way?
How to Introduce Creativity in Schools
So, now that we have established the many different clear benefits of creative activities, let’s explore how we can introduce them to schools.
There are so many different ways that you can introduce creativity. There are lots of different methods that you may not have even considered that are incredibly creative.
Introduce Piano Lessons
Piano lessons can be a wonderful way to introduce creativity that everyone can get on board with. While historically, having multiple pianos and ways to teach piano would have been super expensive, this is not the case anymore. We live in the age of keyboards and digital pianos, and kids can learn without the need for any form of acoustic piano.
You may already have a music room set up within the school, and it is possible you are already providing music lessons. This is definitely a positive thing, and actually makes it easier to introduce piano lessons, for instance, after school.
With Pianu’s academy, schools can provide access for their students, and therefore give them a way to experience interactive lessons at any time. All they need to get started is a computer, and ideally some form of piano or keyboard that can be connected to the PC.
Most schools embrace the power of music lessons. Studies show that music makes young people better learners and can help their brains to develop. Whether you already offer music lessons or not there are numerous ways to introduce piano lessons, either by inviting a piano tutor into your school or even just providing access to Pianu and the equipment required.
Create a School Garden
A lot of people have never considered just how creative gardening is. Within your home, you might think that gardening is even a chore. For kids, it can be an amazing activity, and one that both encourages creativity but also helps kids to learn about science and nature.
A school garden is a perfect way to give children the chance to have a creative input in something, and also to see the benefits as the garden grows. It is also a good way to encourage children to spend some time outside and to work together. Some children may find that this is one of the most interesting activities in the school day.
Of course, the kind of plants and crops you can grow will depend on where you are based, and this is another chance for teaching while doing.
How can gardening be creative? Well, it gives young people a chance to experiment with colors, patterns, and other designs. It also may involve forms of problem-solving deriving from limitations with the space you are in. Why not create a rota for the maintenance of the garden, too? This can help to teach children the sort of discipline it requires to maintain a garden. Check out the video below to see how much kids can get out of gardening.
Introduce Art Classes
We know, art can be messy. It can also be incredibly beneficial to young people. Being artistic is freeing and helps the brain to develop. It can also help young people to explore their emotions and express themselves.
There is a reason why parents usually get their kids art sets and encourage them to draw and paint when they are young, and that’s because creativity is so beneficial. You may even have a future Van Gogh on your hands.
There is often a lot of debate about whether or not art should be included in schools. Some people don’t see the benefits, but they are clear for those who do the research. Art helps with motor skills and many other forms of development. You don’t have to be a world-famous artist to facilitate art classes. As long as there is equipment and kids’ creativity, there’s a chance to experience the benefits of artwork.
Again, we live in the age of information. If you need more resources and art lesson plans, there are so many of them online. Children can even take these home and continue to learn in their own time.
Take a Creative Approach to English
English is one of those subjects that should never be dry and boring for young people. It should be inherently creative in so many different ways.
Kids may think of things like learning to spell and the structure of sentences as boring. Let’s face it, some of the basic rules of English and grammar can be a little bit boring, but there are so many opportunities within English for fun and creativity.
Storytelling, story writing, and even group games can be introduced in order to help to keep the creative juices flowing. Even if lessons do have to cover aspects like teaching spelling and grammar, there are loads of chances for fun.
Activities you can include in your English lessons include writing stories together in a group. One of your pupils can write the first paragraph of a story, and then the story gets passed to the next pupil, and the next… This teaches about the way stories are structured but also gives young people chances to experiment. Storytelling is an ancient art and a creative activity for any school to utilize.
Teachers do have to stick to a curriculum. There are certain objectives you will need to achieve when teaching your English lessons. You have a lot of other options for how you structure your lessons, though, and introducing some creativity helps keep your students engaged.
Games That Enhance Creativity
One of the best ways to encourage creativity within your students is to allow them to play games. Again, this is something that is a controversial suggestion for a lot of schools. Some traditionalists think that games have no place in schools.
We’re talking about both traditional games, board games, and even computer games. Many games are creative in the way they are made. Studies have shown that games like Minecraft can be great for boosting creativity and helping with development.
Other games such as Pictionary and other guessing games rely on some level of creative thought and they certainly exercise the brain. While some people may dismiss the benefits of gaming, there are so many of them. It can also teach things like teamwork. There are pros and cons, and you don’t want to encourage an overload of screen time either.
One of the great things about encouraging gaming is that kids won’t require much persuasion. Most of them are happy to get involved with some allocated game time. It is definitely a case of “everything in moderation”. A school that encourages kids to play games all day will not achieve huge levels of success, of course.
Photography is another of the hobbies and skills that has become so much more affordable and simple to introduce in the classroom. Gone are the days of having to develop photos to see what they’re like. We even live in a time where you can buy some very reasonably-priced camera equipment. Photography is something that can also encourage outdoor activities, such as nature walks.
Within photography lessons you can also introduce other learning. For instance, teaching the science of how photography works or the mathematics of the settings within the camera.
Photography links very closely with art, and you may even include them within the same lessons. You can explore many different forms of creativity within photography, including composition, and use of light and colors. Most of us have the capacity to take excellent photos on our phone now. This means that there are so many opportunities for kids to nurture their skills, too.
Even with some affordable cameras and a screen to display the end-results on, you can encourage a huge amount of creativity. There is a whole, massive industry around photography. This means if you want to go further you can teach things like editing and lighting.
In the later grades within school, studying photography can be much more advanced and it can even be a brilliant opportunity to explore a career opportunity.
Building and Making
Another aspect that a lot of parents introduce to kids at a very young age. Companies like Lego are absolutely huge when it comes to kids toys. They have the amazing combination of being really great fun for children but also exceptional for helping children to learn.
Playing with building toys and building blocks is more of an activity for young children. It is something that can be encouraged from Kindergarten age (as long as it is supervised). As kids get older you can help them with more advanced creation projects.
Making things doesn’t have to involve specific blocks and bricks, and art supplies, wooden blocks, and other tools can be used. As kids get older you may introduce certain aspects of woodwork or other methods of them creating something for themselves.
Cooking should always have an element of creativity. Planning recipes and ingredients and putting your own unique twist on dishes can be a wonderful way for kids to learn about cooking.
Of course, cooking activities require a lot of planning, so a lot of schools don’t bother. However, kids should all learn basic cooking skills at some stage. It is amazing if they can do so at school.
Cooking means buying ingredients, having a lot of equipment, and most of all being safe. It is crucial that children are supervised at all times and that certain dangerous equipment is never used. Making some of the very basics can definitely be safe and help kids to grow some crucial skills.
Drama can be another way to boost creativity in schools. Most of us remember being in a school production when we were younger. It is an amazing way to encourage teamwork as well, and help kids to pick up some brilliant skills. On top of this, it is a whole lot of fun for children.
It is something you can do with kids of all ages to boost creativity in school. School Nativity plays are a very old tradition, and as kids get older they may want more freedom to put on productions of books and plays they know and love.
There is so much room for creativity in the world of drama, from scriptwriting to lighting and music. Your students can choose the roles that are most interesting to them to nurture their skills.
Coding and Game Design
Can code be creative? This is a big debate, but we think that yes, it absolutely can be a way for kids to be creative. You certainly can’t deny the merits of game design. From coming up with characters and levels to solving problems within the code. Tech skills are in demand, and while it might be hard to get kids excited about learning to run a database or set up a server, you can certainly get them involved with gaming.
In a similar theme, dance is another creative activity for kids in school to get involved with. While it may involve getting a specialist dance teacher from outside of the school to come and teach classes, it is a way to encourage kids to be creative and to stay active.
Dance can encapsulate all genres of music, and works well with other forms of creativity such as drama and music. A lot of the creativity comes from coming up with different routines, and other skills such as teamwork are also needed.
Encourage a Creative School Environment
Every single subject has the opportunity to include creativity. It is about creating an amazing culture which includes creativity at every juncture.
In every lesson, methods that can encourage creativity include:
- Encouraging open-minded classrooms. Kids should be able to ask questions and feel confident they won’t be embarrassed. Classrooms should be a place for a lot of different thoughts to come together.
- Encourage debate. Debates require forms of creative thinking and ways to be more understanding of each others’ points of view.
- Help teachers to plan creative lessons. This is crucial, teachers need to think about the different ways in which they can be creative in the classroom. Creativity can even be applied to subjects you wouldn’t assume such as Math and Science.
- Embrace the fun. Not every single aspect of learning in school is about memorizing and studying hard. Learning can be fun, too.
Work With Children to See What They Enjoy
Kids all have different creative hobbies and your students may have their own specific interests. While you should never leave full control of the curriculum to children, you can let them have an input. For example, you can see whether the young people in your class would rather start their own community garden or if they would rather have a dance teacher.
The more resources you can provide, the better. In many schools, children are given different options for the subjects they want to get involved in, and also clubs they can do at lunchtime and after school. Not everything in school has to be a drag. Kids can leanr by doing things they love, too.
Extra curriculum activities might be a chance for earning extra credit or just working on hobbies and things kids enjoy. You should give as many opportunities as possible for pursuing interests, especially if they can be creative.
Summary – Keep Things Creative
School needs to include a lot of different activities and nurture skills whether your student is left-brained or right-brained. When you are setting up a school curriculum it can be really hard to work out exactly what kinds of lessons to introduce. Create a balanced curriculum for a start. You can also introduce a lot of other after school activities.
Your teachers and other staff are the start of your creative atmosphere. Help them in every way you can to nurture a positive environment.
At Pianu, we have worked so hard to make piano accessible for all. You don’t need to get expensive piano teachers in to help kids learn piano. Instead, a membership to Pianu means you can introduce piano lessons. If someone shows an interest, they can learn piano either in the school day, after school, or at home.
Ready to introduce piano within your school using our interactive lessons? Reach out to us about educational packages.
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