This selection for review among current reads for children is primarily due to the contents of the books connecting teachers and parents with children directly. The titles clarify the purpose and meaning of the books under Skills That Build series aimed to guide parents and educators to develop a child’s essential life skills through tackling aspects of mental processes and suggested activities on their road to maturation.
Creativity is the ability to produce original ideas and new items. It is the key to success in life. The spontaneity of actions and reactions in children is a true indication of creativity. The anchor points of creativity is taking off from curiosity that includes attention, observation, problem-solving, risk-taking in its fold. Children seek acceptance and appreciation through their performance and the fear of being wrong causes stress in young creative minds. As conscious facilitators careful monitoring of the child is required in developing creativity. Developing a creative environment, promoting unstructured exploration, fun with intelligence, merging learning with creativity, and the much-needed Eco-centric approach in acquiring life skills enables sustainable creativity.
Thinking is a mental process encompassing the senses, association, concept formation, problem-solving skills and learning. Intelligent thinking, primarily, is efficient manipulation of sensory information, synthesizing, analysing and evaluating information functionally essential for enhanced creative solutions. Thinking represents a creative chain of processes to reach perception and mental maturity.
There are different types of thinking. Concrete thinking, linear in nature, develops abstractions leading to convergent thinking and divergent thinking towards structured organization of concepts. Critical thinking, analytical thought develops creative thinking and sequential thinking capable of being honed by offering tangible solutions in a guided setting. The efforts of parents and facilitators can evolve child’s thinking skills and enhance creativity. Independent thinking in a child empowers diligently towards deeper learning. Such futuristic approach is the need of children today.
In Being A Brilliant Thinker Gayatri Sehgal enumerates a variety of activities affecting memory and association, synthesis, analysis and evaluation, inference and problem solving amounting to adequacy and creative thought process. These activities utilizing ordinary ideas like Grandpa’s radio, mango tree, no electricity, a giant robot friend are fun to practice and enhance critical thinking.
In Being A Creative Genius, the author outlines a variety of activities to inspire creativity. A practical approach devised for sharpening curiosity from the early stage in primary education is the strongest feature of the book. The degree of difficulty of the recommended activities, using simple, inexpensive things of daily use and the natural elements, offers ideas and practice for older children as well. Activity plans like making a kaleidoscope, lava lamps, flour batik, cement pots, fridge magnets, embroidered bottles, fairy lights, wooden vase, wind chimes or destressing wrist supports are only some of the practical lessons suggested by the author in simple prose and cultivated after years of experience in teaching and experimentation in behavioural learning.
The simplicity of the language and interestingly organized opening chapters do not extend into lengthy concept lectures on creativity; rather the hands-on quality could fittingly prompt even young readers to turn the pages of this book. Most certainly this book excels in its worth for educators, parents and tutors teaching primary grades in schools.
It is obvious that works of such calibre could be the created only through close contact with children. The author, who is actually an artist, has also been a dedicated educator with a vision of creating global leaders of tomorrow.
Ira Saxena, a Ph.D. in Child Psychology, is the author of innumerable books for children.