Positive reinforcement is GREAT for teaching creativity; you just have to learn to reinforce the creative!
Example: In the first photo, the child used the unifix cubes in a way I’ve never seen them used. Unifix cubes only attach together ONE way, but Alex figured out a way to build a three-dimensional elevator with them! This may not seem like rocket science, and it’s not. But it IS CREATIVE. Alex chose to use these blocks in a way that he’d never seen anyone else use them!
Okay, so… He did something creative, how do we reinforce that? We’re going to use our words, and we’re going to point out IN PARTICULAR what we like about what he did.
Alex, that’s really creative!
What a great idea you came up with!
I’ve never seen anyone else build like that with the unifix cubes; that’s really neat how you did that!
That’s a really DIFFERENT way to build with those cubes, neato!
Photo 2 is probably the kids’ favorite way to build with the unifix cubes - as LOOONG as possible (also very cool, and deserving of positive reinforcement)!