The Partnership for 21st Century Learning has identified the skills that young children and students in school need to develop in order to be successful within the 21st century workforce. Here is the list of 21st Century Skills from category of Creativity and Innovation:
- Use a wide range of idea creation techniques
- Create new and worthwhile ideas
- Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts
- Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
- Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
- Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
- View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
- Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
You can access the entire list here: http://www.p21.org/our-work/p21-framework
One way that early childhood educators can lay the foundation for these important skills is to intentionally incorporate performing arts into the curriculum on a regular basis. Performing arts typically refers to activities that involve dance, music, and drama/storytelling. These activities provide dynamic learning experiences that are naturally motivating and engaging for young children.
There are many benefits associated with performing arts activities. Here are just a few:
- Engage creativity, excitement, and engagement
- Promote communication skills
- Strengthen physical development and coordination
- Require cooperation, collaboration, and problem solving
- Can improve attention and self-regulation
- Allow children to explore different feelings and situations, which can promote empathy
- Build confidence and a sense of accomplishment
- Children have a chance to practice their audience skills
Check out the lists below for specific activity ideas you can incorporate into your curriculum for children of different ages.
For Infant and Toddler Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.
For Preschool Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.
For School-Age Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.
For Director’s Corner Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE.