Tapping into the Creative Spirit
Wonder how to encourage children to be creative?
Do you find students are more and more dependent on adults and technology for inspiration and ideas?
Here are five ways to encourage creativity in kids without breaking the bank:
- Play--Every kid (and adult) needs playtime. Much of our modern day life tends to minimize free play with structured sports, classes and mindless television/videos. Free play is probably the number one way to nurture creativity. Ever give a child a gift that is the latest greatest widget and in five minutes they are more entertained with the box than the new toy? That’s all it takes for free play.
- Thought experiments–Ask “What if questions… What if the sun were a ball of cheese? What if an arcade were made of boxes?” Encourage children to ask themselves similar questions to develop imagination and the habit of invention.
- Try new things–Read books on dramatically different topics, watch movies that are different from the norm, attend unique performances, try international food, travel somewhere new. Teach children to expand their world and be inspired by the creativity of others.
- Do the opposite–change something about a routine, write/draw with the opposite hand, eat dinner for breakfast, consider a problem to be solved—what would be the opposite of success? what creates failure?
- Encourage and expect failure–Failure is a precursor to success and the essence of creativity. Share examples of historical figures and their failures. Thomas Edison for instance said about developing the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Ask your child, “What have you failed at today? What did you learn from it?”