Every evening, Ryeson and his parents walk in what the six-year-old calls “the hidden woods,” a tree-filled stretch of road where he searches for a special stick. “Sometimes it’s a magic wand, other times it’s a sword or a stirring spoon to make soup,” mom Shana Bull says.
Research shows that children are naturally creative from a young age. And education experts and scientists agree that children who remain creative have shown to be better problem solvers and innovators; they also tend to be less anxious and more resilient, with a greater ability to express their feelings.
“The more a child believes in their powers of creativity, the more they believe that whatever happens to them, they can overcome it because they can figure out a way to survive,” says Angus Fletcher, professor of story science at Ohio State University’s Project Narrative.