Published on May 2nd, 2018 | by The Editor0
A Guest Blog from Author Alice Kuipers
The Feedback Society
Best-selling YA and picture book author, Alice Kuipers, takes over The Feedback Society as part of her blog tour, writing about kids, arts, and creativity.
We are delighted to have a special guest blogger taking over today — please welcome best-selling YA and picture book author, Alice Kuipers! Alice has a new book coming out, called Polly Diamond and the Magic Book, on sale now.
A little about Alice:
Alice Kuipers in the author of four novels and a picture book, in addition to Polly Diamond, an early reader chapter book. Kuiper’s novels have been nominated for or won various awards, including The Saskatchewan First Book Award, The Carnegie Medal, The White Pine Award, and The Grand Prix de Viarmes Award. Born in England, she currently lives in Saskatoon with husband Yann Martel and their four children.
So without further adieu, here’s Alice, writing about creativity, the arts, kids, and herself!
Creativity, The Arts, Kids and Me
Thanks for inviting me to The Feedback Society to answer why creativity and arts programming are important for kids.
It’s a big question, and research scientists, psychologists, school teachers and educators have lots of rooted-in-fact reasons for why we need creativity and arts programming. As the mother of four young children, and as the director of the movie-that-is-my-calendar, filled with playdates, school visits, books I write for children, and workshops I teach for young writers online and off, although I’m not technically qualified to answer as to why creativity and the arts are important for children, my answer comes from my day-to-day experience. I think the imagination is a muscle (my answer isn’t based in fact!) and if we don’t use our Imagination-muscle, we lose what is essential about being human.
Being creative is our number-one-tool for survival, and our imagination is the most important attribute we have making our lives the most they can be. I believe that kids, being as they are naturally curious and creative, are perfect vessels to fill with the joy that being creative can inspire. Great arts’ programming (music and visual arts and books and dance and drama) gifts children the know-how to be able to express the ideas that they have. That wonder and thrill, and, especially in younger children, that complete lack of anxiety that what they are making isn’t any good, is, I think, key to how we can solve the huge problems our world is facing. Adults get scared that our ideas are silly, we think that being creative is a frivolous activity, or, worse, that only certain people are blessed with an imagination. Actually, I think all of us spark with ideas and dreams, and if we can instil in children the confidence to think outside the box, to try new things, to be artistic, yes, and also to embrace creativity in science and engineering and math, then, perhaps there is a chance that one day we can save our planet, or solve the refugee crisis, or create a future where equality actually exists.
Big hopes for small people! But if we exist in a system where we treat our children as automatons, when the actual robots take over whatever is the percentage of jobs predicted, then what will our citizens actually do?
Saying all that, I’m going to finish by casting the huge picture stuff to one side, because the biggest reason that I think creativity and arts programming is crucial for children is that it’s fun for kids. Fun in the most delightful of ways—creativity and arts programming encourages play. If any of you (adults or kids) want to get creative as writers, then come and find my free online writing courses on my website: www.alicekuipers.com