How to stimulate young children’s thinking and creativity
Many preschools ask the children to create rabbits in response to the Easter celebration. Jude (5 years old) has helped to demonstrate three different ways of creating a rabbit picture. I have added the learning opportunities each activity offers. You decide which activity contributes the most to the early education of young children.
- Provide a printed copy of a rabbit and ask the children to colour in the picture (photo 1). Jude practiced his fine motor ( colouring in) and attention skills.
- Provide a variety of open-ended materials, a blank page, glue and scissors, and ask the children to create their own rabbit (photos 2 – 3). Jude practised using his imagination, memory, attention, and problem-solving skills (Jude had to think: What does a rabbit look like? How to make a rabbit from the materials in front of me?). Jude also used his critical thinking and early science skills by thinking about the essential characteristics of a rabbit (What makes a rabbit a rabbit? How is a rabbit different from all other animals?). Jude exercised his maths skills (What shape and size are the parts of a rabbit? How many legs/ears does a rabbit have?),and his fine motor skills (cutting). Jude enjoyed being creative because he used his own ideas.
- Provide a blank page, a variety of paper triangles, glue and scissors, and say to the children “Oh dear … we are making a rabbit today but we only have triangles to use. What can you make?’ (photos 4- 5). Jude used all the skills listed above i.e. his creativity, imagination, memory, problem-solving, critical thinking, maths and fine motor skills but at a higher level because the task was more challenging and the materials (straight lined, pointy cornered triangles) are at odds with the idea of a rabbit (rounded, soft, fluffy). Jude had fun exercising his ingenuity!
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