If the word creativity makes you think only of painting clouds, daydreaming, or writing experimental poetry, think again. “Creativity is one of the most important economic resources of the twenty-first century,” argues Gary Gute, associate professor of family studies at the University of Northern Iowa, and director of the Creative Life Research Center there. “The call from business, industry, and education is for people to think more creatively, not only to solve problems but also to identify problems that need to be solved. A lot of people have this notion that creativity is just a frill: puppet shows and finger paints. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s much bigger.” Plus, according to James C. Kaufman, professor of educational psychology at the University of Connecticut, “Creative people are more likely to start their own companies, to be happy in their jobs, to be successful in business.” and if that’s not enough, they also tend to be, says Kaufman, “resilient, happier, in better moods. Its such a positive thing.”

Here are great tips to ponder from some of the experts:

Rachelle Doorley is the Creator of Tinkerlab.com, a website of art and science activities for kids.

HER PHILOSOPHY– “The only way to be successful is to make mistakes. I believe in the expression ‘fail forward,’ which means that success comes from a willingness to view failures and opportunities to grow–that creative risk-taking is more important than doing nothing at all.”

Joshua Glenn coauthored Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun with Elizabeth Foy Larson (https://amzn.to/1a9evo6)

HIS PHILOSOPHY- “You don’t want to be the over-involved parent on the one hand or the slacker parent on the other. Creativity is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If you’re a little helicopter-y and do the prep work but then leave your kids alone, creativity will happen.”

Keri Smith is the author of The Pocket Scavenger, Wreck This Journal, and ten other books.  (amzn.to/1bRU3I0)

HER PHILOSOPHY– “Small children are naturally creative. It’s all there, there’s no need to try and find it!”

Jean Van’t Hul is the creator of the book and website The Artful Parents.(https://amzn.to/19ea7ZH)

HER PHILOSOPHY– “We need outside-the-box thinking. If children are allowed, even encouraged, to experiment (and to fail), they are more likely to grow creatively. If they hear that there is just one right way to do something, they’re less likely to try other things.”




* Excerpted & reprinted from: Family Fun, October 2013, pages 74-80.