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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is Our Kids' Creativity On The Decline?

  • A third of parents feel that handheld computers and TV have had a negative impact on creativity *
  • Just 10 per cent of parents get time every day to do creative activities with their children*
  • Professor of early childhood education, Angela Anning suggests top tips for fuss-free creativity

Research commissioned by BIC® Kids has shown that more than a third (34 per cent) of British parents believe electronic gaming is having a negative impact on child creativity, followed by concern over what their what friends think (28 per cent).  The education system, family influences and computer work were also cited as barriers to a young mind’s creative nous.

The research also revealed that in today’s hectic lifestyle, parents can find it hard to find time doing activities with their children – one of the simplest ways to inspire creativity. From the 2,000 parents surveyed, just 10 per cent spend time each day doing creative activities with their children. Under a third of parents (28 per cent) set time aside to be creative once a week, with two per cent of parents admitting to never doing this.

When ranked on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest score, 40 per cent of parents gave their children a score of between 1-5 for their creativity.  And it seems children are concerned about their drawing abilities too, with a third (36 per cent) of primary school  aged children confessing concern to their parents about what others will think of their art work. This rated higher than concern about what others think of their appearance (33 per cent) and school grades (31 per cent).

When asked what the most important qualities are to instil in children, a third (29 per cent) of parents said ‘self-confidence’ and 22 per cent said ‘common sense’. Only 16 per cent thought it was important to instil creativity and imagination in their children.

Angela Anning, Professor of Early Childhood Education, University of Leeds, who is working with BIC® Kids said, “It’s interesting to see that creativity ranked third in what parents perceive to be important qualities to instil in their children. Whilst this is still a high score, the ability for creativity to fire the imagination and boost their development can’t be underestimated. Creativity, even the simple pleasures if drawing and colouring, instils confidence and helps develop a sense and understanding of our surroundings. It also plays a central part in many careers, so encouraging children to get creative while they’re young will put them in good stead for their future.” 

Yolande DeTrogoff, marketing manager at BIC said, “We always like to find out more about how kids and parents like to get creative together.  It’s really important for children while they’re young and we want to make it as simple, safe and fun as we can.  It’s great to see that the simple pleasures of colouring and drawing still ranked as one of the number one most enjoyable activity these school holidays, ahead of video games and TV.”

Angela Anning offers parents her top five tips to boost kids’ creativity:

  1. Be interested in your children's creativity and join in on the playfulness
  2. Create the time and space for children to be creative - at the kitchen table, in front of the tv, in the bath...wherever.
  3. Vary the resources your children have to play creatively according to their ages – paint, felt tips, puppets, small figures, boxes, fabrics, wooden spoons, etc.
  4. Tune into your children's individual stories and interests and talk about them - animals, monsters, fairies, engines, cars, etc.
  5. Have fun together exploring music, dancing, painting, drawing, stories and playing.

Notes to editors
Survey conducted by One Poll (August 2011) with a sample size of 2,000 parents with children of primary school age

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