Toddlers are creative at just two years old

March 7, 2014
Toddlers are creative at just two years old
Toddlers painting

Psychologists at the University of Sheffield and the University of Stirling teamed up to discover when children begin thinking divergently.

Their findings showed that as early as 24 months old, toddlers have the ability to look for new ideas.

In the study, children were given a colourful box with a hole, stairs, ledges and strings, along with novel objects to play with. The toddlers were encouraged to play with the box, with no prior demonstration, and , a form of creativity which involves generating ideas, was measured through the number of actions they carried out with the box and objects.

Toddlers as young as 24 months old were shown to be capable of thinking of creative and original ways of playing with the box and the objects – which included a feather, egg holder and spatula – all of which they had never seen before.

Previous divergent thinking tests have been speaking based, only allowing scientists to study children from the age of three onwards. The Unusual Box test by the University of Sheffield and Stirling is thought to be the first capable of measuring divergent thinking in younger children.

Dr Elena Hoicka, from the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology, said: "This research allows us to gain insight into the early emergence of divergent thinking which is crucial for understanding how creativity originates.

"We are now collecting more data with infants as young as 10 months to further examine how young we can use the test."

Dr Simone Bijvoet-van den Berg, also from the University of Sheffield's Department of Psychology, added: "In future, this research will be useful to determine which factors contribute to the early development of creativity, such as memory or ."

Explore further: Exercise spawns creative thinking

Related Stories

Exercise spawns creative thinking

December 3, 2013
People who exercise regularly are better at creative thinking. This is the outcome of research by Leiden cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colato. She published an article on this subject in the scientific magazine Frontiers ...

Dishonesty and creativity: Two sides of the same coin?

February 20, 2014
New research shows that lying about performance on one task may increase creativity on a subsequent task by making people feel less bound by conventional rules.

To 'think outside the box', think outside the box

January 19, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Want to think outside the box? Try actually thinking outside of a box. In a study to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, ...

Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children: study

March 22, 2012
Parents who feel guilty about letting their young children watch too many fantasy movies on TV can relax.

Teaching creativity to children from a galaxy away

May 17, 2012
Playing make-believe is more than a childhood pasttime. According to psychologists, it's also crucial to building creativity, giving a child the ability to consider alternative realities and perspectives. And this type of ...

Recommended for you

Do all people experience similar near-death-experiences?

July 26, 2017
No one really knows what happens when we die, but many people have stories to tell about what they experienced while being close to death. People who have had a near-death-experience usually report very rich and detailed ...

Heart rate study tests emotional impact of Shakespeare

July 26, 2017
In a world where on-screen violence has become commonplace, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company is turning to science to discover whether the playwright can still make our hearts race more than 400 years on.

Talking to yourself can help you control stressful emotions

July 26, 2017
The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people ...

Risk for bipolar disorder associated with faster aging

July 26, 2017
New King's College London research suggests that people with a family history of bipolar disorder may 'age' more rapidly than those without a history of the disease.

Psychopaths are better at learning to lie, say researchers

July 25, 2017
Individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits are better at learning to lie than individuals who show few psychopathic traits, according to a study published in the open access journal Translational Psychiatry. The ...

Visual clues we use during walking and when we use them

July 25, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers with the University of Texas and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has discovered which phase of visual information processing during human walking is used most to guide the feet accurately. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.