Getting kids to be creative can be an exciting process. Kids are naturally inquisitive and want to try things out.
We just need to put the right things in their way and set them off, keeping an eye them as they go.
So here are 3 different ideas that can help you get the kids creative
- A Box of “Stuff”
It’s been that way forever. Give young children a new toy and often within 5 minutes it’s the box they’re playing with! So give them a box full of things they can use and some things they could build with them. Save up toilet roll centres, washing up liquid bottles (rinse them out first), corks from wine bottles, bottled water bottles, short garden canes. Add some Lego bricks, string, sellotape, colouring pencils and some sheets of paper. Then suggest that they create something that is appropriate for their age, such as how gravity works for older kids and for younger kids, how to physically demonstrate multiplication in a 7 Times Table
- Set them the problem
Another approach is to come from the other direction. Set them the problem and let them work out what they need to solve it and where to get it. Let them use things from around the house and garden or the school, but make sure you tell them anything they cannot use such as dangerous tools or perhaps books that have the answers etc. You’ll be amazed what they think of and wonder where on earth the ideas came from, no matter how impossible you think the task is. Problems could be – build a one tenth scale roller coaster in the garden suitable for a soft toy to ride in, how to grow bigger carrots next spring, how to use less water when washing up but get the dishes cleaner.
- Writing a story
On wet days it can be harder to keep them amused. So rather than defaulting to TV or PC games, get them writing a story and then even illustrating it. The BBC 500 Words competition is a great place to start at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1. Thousands of kids get involved every year and it has some seriously good prizes and famous authors as supporters. You might even consider taking kids out of their comfort zones, getting them to use paper and pen (or pencil) to write the story to get them thinking creatively.
This will change their mind-set when compared to their usual keyboard writing and let their thoughts develop as they write in a different way to using a computer or tablet.
Of course they won’t always find these sorts of thing easy, so be prepared to help them get going too. Questions like:
- How does nature do this?
- Where can you start?
- How can you break the problem down into smaller ones that we can solve one at a time?
- How do you write a good story – start, middle, end etc?
- Who writes the best stories and why do they like them? Could they use that as a starting point?
Of course getting the kids thinking creatively and being creative also means parents have to get creative too, which is good for us as well as them