To look at how Harry expresses his creativity, we must first establish what we mean by creativity. Often, in nurseries in England, we refer to 'the creative area', meaning the area where art materials are available for children to use. This is quite a narrow view of creativity. In fact, children are creative in all areas of the nursery. Certainly, the diary shows that Harry expresses his creativity through drawing, painting, model making, construction, small world play, imaginative and role play, having ideas, solving problems and making up games.
Csikszentmihalyi (1996) says that 'Creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives … most of the things that are interesting, important, and human are the results of creativity' (p. 1). He goes on to say that creativity is what separates humans from animals. He finds creativity 'fascinating' because 'when we are involved in it, we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life' (p. 2). So, how do we recognize creativity in Harry's play and what helps him to be creative? We shall see that when Harry is 'deeply involved' (Laevers 1997), he is usually being creative. Fostering Harry's curiosity helps him to be creative. Csikszentmihalyi (1996) says: 'If too few opportunities for curiosity are available, if too many obstacles are placed in the way of risk and exploration, the motive to engage in creative behaviour is easily extinguished' (p. 11). Harry is encouraged to explore and to discover things for himself from an early age by being given a treasure basket containing a chain and heavy glass candleholders among other natural household materials. His parents trust that he will learn through manipulating these objects.
Vygotsky (1978) describes how everything that children learn begins in the 'interpersonal' world before becoming 'intrapersonal'.