by Evy Lowe, LCSW
Kids today are facing a creativity crisis. Not long ago, a lot of play consisted of games of “let’s pretend,” where cowboys, princesses, animals and firefighters came to life directly from children’s imaginations.
As a modern parent, you likely see these characters a lot, but mostly on screens designed by adult artists and game developers. Of course, children are born naturally creative and curious, and that will never change. But today, much more play comes from technology and less from children’s minds.
Research by Dr. Kyung Hee Kim, an internationally acclaimed researcher in the field of creativity at the College of William and Mary, shows that since 1990, even as IQ scores have risen, creative thinking scores have significantly decreased. The decrease for kindergartners through third graders is the most significant.
But, you can offer your children ways to express their creativity and imaginative abilities, and it can be lots of fun! It also boosts your child’s future abilities to solve problems, concentrate, focus and self-regulate. Here are some ideas on keeping “pretend,” “create” and “make believe” big parts of your kid’s life.
The imagination “muscle” is getting less exercise and practice than in previous generations. And, that has consequences.