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Some people tend to believe that creativity is an inborn talent. But can creativity be trained and developed intentionally? And what are benefits of creativity?
What is creativity?
Creativity is one of the ten key entrepreneurial competences to be developed in parENTrepreneurs training. But what exactly is creativity? Simply put, within parENTrepreneurs competency framework creativity is defined as “developing purposeful ideas and finding solutions to problems”. Creativity involves adapting original (novel, unique) and effective (useful, appropriate) ideas into reality (Runco & Jaeger, 2012). When you’re being creative, you can recognize hidden patterns, make broad associations, see unusual perspectives, produce new ideas and generate multiple solutions (Cropley, 2012).
It is often assumed that creativity is an inborn talent, which child either possesses or doesn´t possess. However, creativity can also be seen more as a skill parents can help their child to learn. From this perspective creativity is like a muscle: it can be trained and developed. Creativity is not limited only to musical or visual artists and poets – anyone can be creative. (Cf. Guilford, 1987.)
Benefits of creativity
Besides creative industries, creativity is desirable in fields outside the arts such as engineering, science, industry, marketing, and indeed in everyday life. It is generally believed that creativity is a good thing itself and is also good for people. Studies have shown many benefits for children deriving from participating in creative activities including among other things
Creativity can actually improve overall health of human being. It might sound too good to be true, but there is a plenty of scientific evidence that engaging in creative activities improves brain function as well as mental and physical health (Cohut, 2018). According to the theory of cognition creativity is actually fundamental for human life (Koestler, 1964). Basically, being creative is pretty important in nearly everything we do. It is a key component of overall health and happiness, and thus a core skill to practice with kids.
Tips for creative activities
Would you like to have a little more creativity in your child´s life? Fostering creativity is easier than you may think. There are plenty of opportunities to foster creativity with your child at home. These articles of creative activities for children can get you started:
Cohut, M. (2018). What are the health benefits of being creative? Medical News Today. Newsletter 16/2/2020. Available here
Cropley, A. (2012). Creativity and Education: An Australian Perspective. The International Journal of Creativity & Problem Solving 22(1), 9-25.
Guilford, J. P. (1987). Creativity Research: Past, Present and Future. In Isaksen, S. G. (Ed.). Frontiers of Creativity Research: Beyond the Basics (pp. 33-65). Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
Koestler, A. (1964). The Act of Creation. New York: Penguin Books.
Runco, M. A. & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The Standard Definition of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal 24(1), 92–96. Available here
Written by Marianne Laurila, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, Design Centre MUOVA