Why are Kids More Creative Than Adults?

Why are Kids More Creative Than Adults?

The childhood imagination seems to have unlimited creative potential. But, why exactly are kids so much more creative than their adult counterparts?

Did you know that ordinary kids invented things like the trampoline, the popsicle, and earmuffs? It’s no secret that an average childhood imagination rivals even the best creative adult thinker. Let’s learn more about the unique functioning of a child’s creative brain.

Less constraints on reality

Anyone who has had a conversation with a 5-year old can tell you that a child’s idea of what’s possible and what’s not doesn’t exist. In the average child’s mind, everything is feasible. Childhood imagination is often encouraged through play, books, and education. Not only is this natural creativity there, childhood imagination is praised and nurtured in society. This is true even if the final piece that is delivered from that creativity isn’t noteworthy or perfect. As children grow into young adults, these creative activities are less open and imaginative. More rules and boundaries are applied to writing, art, and other forms of play. Adults can grasp possible and “impossible” and are often restricted by the societal norms and rules that they live within on a daily basis.

A consistent belief that any problem can be solved

Childhood imagination isn’t stopped by the bounds of a “problem”. Kids are faced every day with challenges that they overcome. How will I build this sandcastle larger than my brother’s? What will happen if I eat this new vegetable? How can I solve this puzzle or activity? Solutions come naturally to children, and their curiosity only works to nullify the problems that they encounter.

Social pressures are lessened

At a younger age, children are less likely to think of big or different ideas as “weird”. In fact, the child who is most imaginative may be the most fun to play with! Again, it’s in this unique way that children can freely express themselves without fear of rejection or stigma. These social pressures grow as we get older, and are especially prominent in adolescence and young adulthood. The same freedom to express oneself as an adult is extremely complicated by social pressures.

Vulnerability is high and fear of rejection is low

Intense fear of rejection or “differentness” can stifle creativity in adults. Often those who pursue creative careers experience some hardship in terms of other adults misunderstanding their end goal or even devaluing creative work. On the other hand, childhood imagination is valued and so is vulnerability. In the classroom, children are encouraged to speak their mind and do their best - regardless of the outcome.

Surrounded by creative tools and toys

Children are surrounded almost every day by creative tools and toys that can work to spark that childhood imagination. Unique children’s popup books like Dandeliophone help to foster a sense of adventure and creativity. Specifically, Dandeliophone allows for some open-ended play through the interactive nature of the children’s popup book style. Other toys and educational tools found in schools, daycares, and at home work to further a child’s creative mind. In contrast, adults are rarely surrounded by creative and open-ended tools for play. When adults use creative tools, those tools are still usually restricted and serve a specific purpose (ex. journaling or video games).

Minimal time pressures

Do you remember what summer days used to feel like as a child? Endless amounts of time – even on days that had a full schedule. Adult life becomes increasingly busy as we age and some creative freedom is lost during the day. On average, children spend less time washing the dishes, working full-time jobs, and paying bills… and more time imagining and dreaming.

 Photo by: matheus-bertelli



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Photo by: matheus-bertelli