Imagine holding in the palm of your hand a container filled endless possibility. What would you do with it? Would you open it right away? Or maybe you would save it for a special occasion? Would you share it with your closest friends and loved ones? This scenario is not just make-believe, it is very real. We can choose to create this container for ourselves and especially, for our children.
Indeed, when you are holding a baby or young child, you are holding a container of endless possibility. Too often, however, as that child gets older we slowly strip away those possibilities. Little by little, well-meaning adults chip away at those endless opportunities and start constricting options and projecting pathways. Obviously, certain possibilities need to be eliminated – like the option to run out into the street. Adults have an obligation to create a safe environment for children to learn and grow. The key is to create a safe environment that isn’t stifling to the child’s imagination, wonder, and curiosity. The key is to create an environment that fosters growth and creativity and channels it in a positive manner. In the world of counseling and play therapy, therapists refer to this as the container model. Therapists create a safe structure that allows (and challenges) their clients to develop and grow.
A Creative Environment
Similarly, when discussing creativity, this notion of structure has also come up. In our podcast, “What is Creativity?”, we explore this question with creative people working in all types of industry. In these conversations, several themes have emerged. One common theme in all of our conversations is the idea that a certain amount of structure fosters creativity (ergo, the container model).
The Drawn To Discover curriculum is one such container. The structure of the lessons and the skills that are taught within them can help children tap into and harness that endless possibility within them. The great existential psychologist, Rollo May, wrote that creativity is “the process of bringing something new into being.” This is precisely our mission – giving children the skills, tools, and confidence to bring new things into being, to make the impossible, possible. With our rapidly changing world, this ability is more important than ever.