As people seek out new activities to occupy themselves through the second lockdown, a growing need for creative and playful learning at all ages is being revealed. In schools, where teachers and students are dealing with new technologies, Covid-safety, and upcoming exam pressures, using creativity and play in the classroom (or on Zoom) may offer positive support in the long-term.
Lockdown 2.0 showed people were much more prepared than last time, with many aiming to learn a new skill or take on a creative challenge. There was a 622% rise in registrations for online creative subjects through The Open University. Pinterest received feedback indicating increased interest in DIY in its UK users, including a 40% increase in searches of “how to make DIY gifts for friends”.
For teaching in primary schools, creative play is integral to learning. In toddlers, activities such as drawing, painting, dancing, and using instruments are shown to improve cognitive and physical development.
In 2013, Michigan State University found that people in ownership of a business or patent were up to eight times more likely to have had more exposure to the arts as children than their peers. The core factor in their participants’ success was found to be a sustained interest in these creative outlets.
But what does this mean for creative learning in teenagers and adults?
Companies who have included play in the workplace have shown that it leads to greater productivity and boosts morale. Despite these odds, in 2018, a BBC survey found that nine out of ten schools had to make some sort of cut in time or funding to a creative subject.
With news outlets reporting that social distancing may have to remain for up to a year, developing long-term solutions to stressors are key. The rise in personal projects suggests we need to make learning and working environments more conducive to creativity. Not only will integrating creativity and play into learning help the development of students and decrease stress-levels temporarily, but these activities have the potential to generate greater prospects for an innovative future.