Friday, June 10, 2011

Kids and Creativity

In my last post, I talked about Sir Ken Robinson's book, The Element:  How Finding your Passion Changes Everything (2009).   Today I would like to share with you a poem published in that book at pp. 242-243.  It was written by Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of an innovative educational model for preschoolers known as the Reggio approach (named for the town in Italy where it was initiated in the 1960s).


The child

is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

The school and the culture

separate the head form the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.


And thus they tell the child

That the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way.  The hundred is there.



The artwork posted above is from three of our nine grandchildren, Henry (8), Alex(6), and Oliver(4).  Each created a birthday card for me in his own creative way.  Henry's shows me (the gray-haired one wearing purple) at the bottom of the stairs of our split-foyer  home, welcoming him with open arms and ready to give him a hug.  He also drew a humorous tree "bark-ing" at a dog.  Alex colored wonderfully colorful trees and talking yellow flowers, and the abstract color study shown above that looks like an Amish bar quilt with non-traditional colors.  Oliver, who will enter Kindergarten in the Fall, is all about learning to write his name.  But he added lots of purple on the inside of the card, because he knows that is Grandma's favorite color.


May we all retain a childlike sense of joy and wonder.  May we give ourselves permission to color outside the lines and to use nontraditional color choices if it suits us.



LeAnn aka pasqueflower


  1. How precious those pictures are!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for you kind words. If you would like one of the Shelfari book shelves just click on the bottom of mine and it tell you how to get one for free.

  2. Very neat poem - I believe that we artists are fortunate, we never loose that childlike sense of joy and wonder in creating:):)

  3. Lovely post. Children are so much fun.

  4. Great poem! I love the kids pictures especially the top one. I remember those days.

  5. I visited a doctor's office and all of the artwork on the walls were from his children. His wife had them custom framed and included the child's name and age. It was so personal and very well done. Seeing this art work brought those to mind instantly. I've admired them for some time now.