Tag Archives: creativity

How Parents can Foster Creativity in Children


As a visual arts educator and an arts coach I am often asked about creativity, and more specifically for advice on how to foster more of it.   Here are some tips I came across that I think apply quite nicely to the students and families of IAA. 

How Adults Can Encourage Creativity:

  • Encourage curiosity, exploration, experimentation, fantasy, questioning, testing, and the development of creative talents.   (In other words, allow children the opportunity to play – open ended materials and toys are the best way to ecourage creative play…think playdough, blocks, legos, art materials,paper,etc.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Provide opportunities for creative expression, creative problem-solving and constructive response to change and stress. (Often playful and dramatic re-creations of experiences can help children to assimilate and reframe them.)
  • Prepare children for new experiences, and help develop creative ways of coping with them.
  • Find ways of changing destructive behavior into constructive, productive behavior rather than relying on punitive methods of control.
  • Make sure that every member of the family receives individual attention and respect and is given opportunities to make significant, creative contributions to the welfare of the family as a whole.
  • Use what the school provides imaginatively, and supplement the school’s efforts.

How Adults “Kill” Creativity:

  • Insisting that children do things the “right way.” Teaching a child to think that there is just one right way to do things kills the urge to try new ways.
  • Pressuring children to be realistic, to stop imagining. When we label a child’s flights of fantasy as “silly,” we bring the child down to earth with a thud, causing the inventive urge to curl up and die.
  • Making comparisons with other children. This is a subtle pressure on a child to conform; yet the essence of creativity is freedom to conform or not to conform.
  • Discouraging children’s curiosity. One of the surest indicators of creativity is curiosity; yet we often brush questions aside because we are too busy for “silly” questions. Children’s questions deserve respect.

Torrance, E. P. (1969). CREATIVITY. Sioux Falls, ND: Adapt Press.


School Begins


Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year!  

How exciting to begin year three of the Integrated Arts Academy, Burlington and Vermont’s only magnet school dedicated to learning through the arts.   This year we are quite fortunate to have two artist residencies-  singer/songwriter, Jon Gailmor (generously funded by a beloved friend of IAA) and the Burlington drum and dance group, Jeh Kulu (with funding from the Vermont Arts Council.)  Each of these artist residencies will be here working with our entire school pre-K through grade 5.   Jeh Kulu will be here in November and Jon Gailmor will be here in May.

We also have an assortment of performances that our students will be attending at The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts.   Students attending the IAA are fortunate to attend three matinees each year.  Some of this years highlights are: Henry & Mudge, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, Imaginocean, and the Spirit of Uganda.  You will hear more details pertaining to these performances through your child’s classroom teacher.

Additionally, this year we have twelve classroom teachers participating in Words Come Alive!  the Flynn’s signature professional development program based on research substantiating the vital importance of the performing arts in learning.  For the past three years classroom teachers have worked in close collaboration with Flynn teaching artists to develop drama and movement techniques that address curricular goals while strengthening students’ expressive skills.  This professional development comes to us in part through funding by the National Endowment for the Arts.

These are just a few dramatic examples of how the arts are a vital part of the I.A.A.   On a more subtle and everyday level, classroom teachers  collaborate with the music, visual art, PE/movement teachers and the arts coach to integrate all of the arts into the classroom curriculum.

So, welcome to a brand new and exciting year at IAA.

Creativity on the Rise!

Welcome to the Integrated Arts Academy’s blog!
This blog is a way to share the creative learning that happens here at the Integrated Arts Academy.   You can look forward to exciting posts featuring lessons, artwork, photographs, video’s and integrated activities at IAA.  We will also be posting an assortment of ways to bring creativity home, with tips and ideas that are sure to inspire your young learner.