What is Creative Play?
Creative play includes a spectrum of activities that everyone can enjoy in some format.
Activities include: drawing and painting, construction, sensory play to role play.
Anything which engages the imagination and inspires creativity is creative play.
The benefits of creative activities know no bounds.
The examples below are the tip of the iceberg.
Intellectual and Cognitive Benefits
Creative activities, both as a solo task or as a shared activity can contribute to improving intellectual and cognitive skills including problem solving, experimentation, imagination, innovation and critical thinking.
Creative play, in particular, sensory play can develop mathematics and science skills. For example playing with raw materials can provide first hand knowledge and experience of the properties of materials, which in turn can help improve and enhance vocabulary, problem solving and concentration.
Having the opportunity to express oneself creatively has been long since documented by professionals as an excellent way to provide a positive outlet for emotions, not just for children but for adults as well. It can be of particular benefit to those who struggle to handle extremes of emotion. By providing consistent access to engaging creative activities you are, in turn, providing a constant positive emotional outlet, and a chance to holistically build up transferable skills to other areas of development.
Arts and crafts activities afford the opportunity to achieve a visible and tangible positive outcome, which is a great way to quickly boost morale and self esteem. With constant access to positive outcomes, you have a fast track to high self efficacy.
Creative play can offer a simple but effective way in which to strengthen existing relationships, and form new bonds. Having a common ground can make social interaction feel much less overwhelming, particularly for those who struggle in social situations. Combining this with the calming effects of sensory play can create a wonderfully enabling environment for relationships to develop and grow.
Working together on a common project can aid first hand understanding of social constructs such as co-operation, turn taking and sharing, whether that be peer to peer, or with caregivers. Art and crafts projects are an effective yet safe way to offer social and developmental learning opportunities, in a low pressure environment, making it fun and enjoyable for all.
Crafts which involve drawing, cutting, painting and weaving all aid the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, vital skills for everyday life.
Encouraging and Promoting Creative Activities
The benefits of creative activities are clear and plentiful. The more people engage in these activities, the more they will benefit from the positive outcomes, and the more their creativity will flourish.