Can we all agree that kids are inherently creative little beasts? Yes, I think we can. Because they are, and they’re cute, too. And funny. Kids are funny. Anyway, since I like kids and I like creativity, and I write about creative kids all over the place on this blog, I am here to talk more about how to foster an overall creative vibe in your kids.
I write a ton of art projects for kids, and hands-on ideas for jumping into creating, but creativity isn’t always hands-on. Much of the time it is a way of thinking, a way of living and feeling and experiencing the world around us.
Your kids may end up HATING drawing or painting and want to spend all of their time reading books about biosynthesis or throwing the old pigskin around, but if they also learn to cultivate creative thinking, they will excel in all sorts of everything they do.
I have some easy ideas on how to urge them in this direction- see which ones your kids take to, and try to think up some on your own. It’s fun once you get started. In fact, these are really just open-ended creativity prompts to get your kids thinking differently about their everyday.
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1. Design Thinking
- Peruse your pantry: Look at the labels on your foods with your kids and pick out your favorites; your least favorites. What would you change about a certain label? Would the picture be different? The writing bigger? Are the colors good for that jelly label?
- Take this one step further and redesign a label for something (or everything!) in your pantry.
- When you are out in a crowd with your kids, take turns describing a person you see- in complete detail.
- Don’t forget colors, shapes, movements, accessories. Be as descriptive as you can. You can turn it into a game by trying to guess who the other person is describing. If there aren’t many people around, you can try this with objects: mailboxes, buildings, cars, etc.
Sometimes when you look at trees, their leaves appear darker against lighter objects and lighter against darker objects. Cool, right? Looking for this sort of thing will help train the eye to notice how light and color affect how we see items.
4. Paper and Markers
This is one of my favorite tips ever: leave a nice stack of printer paper out at all times. Make sure you have a few pencils or markers near it. By placing a marker diagonally across the top of the stack, you are setting a scene your children will find impossible to resist.
5. What Animal Are You?
- This is a fun, creative game- talk about which animal each of your family members/friends would be if they suddenly transformed. Base this on visual features/mannerisms/actions.
- This gets your kids thinking and comparing visually. Plus, there are bound to be some giggles.
6. Beautiful produce
The next time you are frazzled with your kids at the grocery store, step into the produce section and take in all the colors. Talk about the different colors, shades, shapes of the fruits and veggies. Check out that star fruit! Aren’t avocados weird and bumpy? Carrots have long, green, rock star hair!
7. Colorful Wardrobe
- Work with your kids to pick out clothes for the day that are either:
- Complementary (red with green, yellow with purple, orange with blue.)
- Different shades of the same color
- Black and WhiteTalk about why they chose their colors and how they feel wearing them.
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