Children enter the world curious and creative. This sense of wonder increases as children grow, reaching a peak around the preschool years. However, over the course of development, creativity and creative thinking significantly decline. Creativity begins to decline by the time children enter kindergarten, with creative attempts hitting a 25 percent drop by the end of elementary school. Based on research in the Child Development article "Original Thinking in Preschool Children," this does not increase in the same way until students enter college. The causes are manifold, but peer group conformity and classroom pressures toward a uniform base of knowledge often take the blame.
Researchers and educators alike emphasize the importance of divergent thinking skills to academic and vocational success. Many of today’s jobs didn’t exist five years ago — and similarly, many future jobs do not exist today! Internet and mobile access makes it easier than ever for parents to support the retention and expansion of creativity in children.
Not sure which sites to turn to first? We’ve got you covered. The resources below foster creativity, thinking skills, and applied knowledge. Use them for school projects or extended learning at home. Most are free, but some require registration, allowing children to save and edit their work and keep projects private and secure. Tip: Be sure to bookmark the “create” page to bypass others’ potentially inappropriate work.