What Are Creative Activities?

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Creative activities are things people do that involve developing new ideas, artworks and other forms of cultural production. They are characterized by originality and the use of imagination.

Every new idea or item created by humans originated in some type of creative activity. For example, Thomas Edison made a successful light bulb by trying an amazing array of possible filaments. Human beings landed on the moon, in part, because a president imagined that it was possible. Beethoven wrote the Fifth Symphony by combining musical notes and ideas in a new and original way. Being creative is a fundamental aspect of what it means to be human. Unless it is stymied in some way, the impetus to creativity drives people to do new things, whether it is a child in a classroom finding a new way to annoy a teacher, an artist developing a unique brand of sculpture, an office worker creating a bow and arrow from paper clips and rubber bands or a scientist trying to solve a problem. Creative activities induce in people a pleasant psychological state called “flow,” where time stands still as individuals focus on originality and imagination. Creative activities include all forms of art, all forms of science, all forms of research, all forms of communication and anything else a human being would do. Especially for children, creative activities help with the development of cognition, social skills and the ability to use language to communicate.