“Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It’s crucial to an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it?”
"Pieces of Imagination" 30" x 30" work on canvas
I recently read a piece called Kindergarten Cram by Peggy Orenstein in the NY Times magazine which spoke of the current state of play (or lack of it) in today’s Kindergarten classrooms. “Instead of digging in sandboxes, today’s kindergartners prepare for a life of multiple-choice boxes by plowing through standardized tests with cuddly names like Dibels (pronounced “dibbles”), a series of early-literacy measures administered to millions of kids; or toiling over reading curricula like Open Court — which features assessments every six weeks.” I can not help feeling sad reading this. Ms. Orenstein reminded me of dancing the hokey-pokey, Duck Duck Goose, and the wake up-fairy. Those were magical days with crayons, poster paints, imagined dragons & fairies, spaceships of cardboard, unicorns, wild horses, and dress-ups. After school, more play, more imagined flights to the moon staged in the dark of the downstairs bathroom (the only room in the house with no windows). We cooked on the Easy-Bake Oven, finger painted, spatter painted. Lightening Bug Glow Juice thrilled us with its magical powers. We took pretend vacations to anywhere staged in the family station wagon (while parked securly in the carport). We played. We played and played and played.
The article in the NY Times goes on to say: “According to “Crisis in the Kindergarten,” a report recently released by the Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit research and advocacy group, all that testing is wasted: it neither predicts nor improves young children’s educational outcomes. More disturbing, along with other academic demands, like assigning homework to 5-year-olds, it is crowding out the one thing that truly is vital to their future success: play.”
THERE IS HOPE!! “the one thing that truly is vital to their future success: play” Yes, this line gives me hope!!
Creativity is about play – play the essence of creativity. Perhaps there really is hope that we as a society will learn to value imagination and give play the needed the time and space to grow. I believe if we give our children the tools of creativity they will learn to fly…we need to continue to give them wings for creativity to thrive.
Painting is available from artist.
“If you’ve ever watched a child with a cardboard carton and a box of crayons create a spaceship with cool control panels, or listened to their improvised rules, such as “Red cars can jump all others,” then you know that this impulse to make a toy do more is at the heart of innovative childhood play. It is also the essence of creativity.”