• Randy Swaim

Rising Stars: Developing Creativity in Youth!

For this blog, I wanted to offer some key insights and I am highlighting them from an article by Mitch Resnick who is a Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab. I will also highlight one or two of these in future blogs as well but for this one, I will highlight one particularly. One reason I want to highlight this here is because the aspects from him that I will list here, are many that over years, we have used with interacting my incredible Great Grandkids.


Rising Stars:  Developing Creativity in Youth!
Rising Stars: Developing Creativity in Youth!

This Christmas Time I spent time with them and my 10 year old Great Granddaughter brought a book over to show me and it was one she was studying. I was so proud because it was a high school level anatomy book because she wants to be a Bone Doctor for her career and at 10 years old she is already preparing. I told her about pride I felt for her and I told her that when she gets to that point and she has to compete for schools and medical programs, she will be ahead of the curve and well on your way. She has shown this aspect of leadership through her entire young life.


So let me list some of the aspects from his article, 10 Tips for Cultivating Creativity in Your Kids, that made the difference.


1. Show Examples to Spark Ideas: Let them take some examples and then mold their vision to formulate it in their creative mind. Blank Screen can be scary.


2. Encourage Messing Around: Imagination takes place in the Hands as well as the Brain.


3. Provide a Wide Variety of Materials: They are deeply influenced by the toys and materials in their world.


4. Embrace all Types of Making: Different kids are interested in different types. We are not all the same.


5. Emphasize Process not Product: The Process of getting there is critical to them.


6. Extend Time as necessary for Products: Time is needed for creativity and development.


7. Play the Role of Matchmaker: Sometimes, like adults, they need to share ideas and collaborate.


8. Get Involved as Collaborator: Beware of becoming too involved such that they just wait for you to tell them what to do.


9. Ask Authentic Questions: Questions will help them reflect and learn and gain enhanced clarity.


10. Share Your Own Reflections: Sometimes it can be encouraging that they feel they are not the only one’s that struggle through the process.


I remember so many times where I watched as my Great Granddaughter wrote on chalk boards and I let her tell me what she was thinking about and such. There were many times she would ask me a question and I would get her thinking and get her talking about it as, aligned with #1 on the list, she would formulate the answer in her creative mind. The benefits are exemplified in my great granddaughter. One benefit is as I mentioned above how she has a vision for her life and is studying ahead of most of her pears for sure.


One other example of the positive impact was at her Kindergarten graduation. I was there and one of the things each graduate had to do was come on stage with a microphone and tell their name and what they wanted to work in their life. It got them thinking. Most of the youth prior to my Great Granddaughter were quite nervous and you could see it and hear it in the voice.


When it was her turn, she walked out on stage, turned to the crowd and in the microphone said her name and confidently stated what she wanted to do. It was interesting that most of the kids after her were much more confident and was in part at least the example that she set.


She already has leadership developing for sure and the results are incredible as we have, sort of unknowingly, employed many of these 10 points in her development.


Look at your Rising Stars and what do you need to see differently and do differently?


Randy Swaim, Coaching for Relevance, LLC