By Linda Wilson @LinWilsonauthor
Some children come to creativity naturally. Consider the great child prodigies. Wolfang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is one of the best known. The great Austrian who composed music in several genres, such as symphony and opera, is “acknowledged as the greatest natural genius of music.” At three Mozart was picking out chords on the harpsicord, at four playing short pieces, at five composing.
Visit “7 Famous Child Prodigies” to learn more about the amazing natural abilities of Mozart and other child prodigies, which include the intellectual Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and the mathematician John von Neumann. I can’t leave the topic without remarking on Stevie Wonder, who was born blind, grew up in poverty, yet became a skilled musician at an early age: “learning to write music, sing, and play the piano, organ, harmonica, and drums.”
Whether your child is a prodigy or not, you can subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly encourage your child to reach inside and discover the natural ability that dwells within, a most glorious gift bursting to venture out and blossom, often in ways that may surprise you.
The best way to help develop creativity in your child, I believe, is to begin with books. Books can offer an excellent foundation not only for your child, but also for you to help foster your child's intellect and curiosity.
I learned this first hand when my two daughters, now in their '30s, were in grade school. As a teacher, I had been reading children’s classics out loud to them and suggesting books to read at their level, such as books by Beatrice Potter, the Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry. It was “all good,” as my daughters would say. But I didn’t have an organized approach.
I observed a mom from one of my children’s classes at the library one day. She chose books from a list she kept in a notebook. Books her children had read were checked off. She coordinated her list with the books her children were reading in school: an impressive, thorough approach.
Today, you can find top suggestions for children’s books from age 0-13+ on the Brightly website. Included is a free reading log that you can print and give to your child to keep a list of the books they’re reading.
The “Brightly” website is a terrific place to start. It can offer everything you need to foster a plan for your child to read recommended books. You might not need to look further. But if you want to find other reading lists, there are many. Here are some suggestions to help you in your search:
Next in this series on cultivating creativity in your children: Supplement your Child’s School Writing Program
Illustration: Nancy Batra's sketch for the cover of my next picture book, Waddles the Duck: Hey, Wait for Me!
Nancy is also the illustrator of my first picture book, A Packrat's Holiday: Thistletoe's Gift.
Goulding, Phil G., Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works. New York: Fawcett Books, 1992.
Linda Wilson writes stories for young children. Visit Linda at https://www.lindawilsonauthor.com. Sign up for Linda’s quarterly giveaways. Choose your prize!
Find Linda’s books at https://www.amazon.com/author/lindawilsonchildrensauthor.