Montessori’s Methods for Encouraging Creativity
Fostering creativity and nurturing uniqueness are an important part of a parent’s role in his or her child’s development. There are many ways moms and dads can encourage a child’s creative spirit—and these efforts will pay off as the child reaps the rewards of independence and self-direction.
“In a society in which it seems many parents are focused on children developing skills as early and as fast as possible, the value of creativity can be ignored,” explains Virginia Shiller, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of the book Rewards for Kids! Ready-to-Use Charts & Activities for Positive Parenting. “Creativity is the process of coming up with new ideas,” she says. “For young children it often involves new ways of looking at or using familiar objects.”
In 1907, Dr. Maria Montessori started the first Montessori classroom. In the class, children were grouped for a three-year age mix (three to six, six to twelve, twelve to fifteen), which allowed for both individual and social development. The approach, called the Montessori Method, offers a broad vision of education as a way of life. It is designed to tap into the natural development of children, giving kids the freedom to work at their own paces—either alone or with others—with materials they have chosen. The flexibility of the approach—often not found in everyday life or in the typical preschool classroom—provides a foundation within which each child's inner directives freely guide him or her.
Parents can allow their children the freedom to explore and become intimate with all aspects of life—its surroundings, its phenomena, and its inhabitants, human and non-human, according to Renilde Montessori, President, Association Montessori International. “It is this intimacy that leads to every kind of creativity,” he notes.