Children are naturally creative and enjoy letting their imaginations run wild. Tapping into this creativity and encouraging it throughout their education is vital to their future. To help your children be creative thinkers, try any or all of the following ideas. You will be amazed at what they can create when encouraged with the proper tools!
- Play with Clay – Find a recipe for homemade clay or buy some from our Etsy store. Encourage your child to create unique characters and write short stories about them. If they’re a little stuck ask them to think about where there character would live and what it likes to do. You can take it one step further by animating a short film. This also works well with Lego bricks.
- Create a Cartoon – Children love unusually sized things, so pick up some large sheets of paper or poster board and have them create a large cartoon. They could create a comic about a different way to perform an ordinary task like making their beds. You can also go the other direction and create a mini-flipbook using post-it notes. Use them as a storyboard and make a movie using your smart phone or tablet. There are some great free filmmaking Apps out there. We love using iMovie on our iPads when we teach filmmaking.
- Participate in Creative Workshop – You may be surprised at just how many things you and your children can get involved with. Check out breezeleeds.org and leedsinspired.co.uk to see events and projects happening in the Leeds area. InspirEd is not the only company out there delivering fun workshops for children and their families, try as many things as possible!
- Build a Bridge – Give your child a few random items from around the house and challenge them to build the longest, tallest, or strongest bridge using only those items. Take a photo of each stage. Build it up, take a photo, build some more, take a photo. Before you know it you’ll have made a basic animation on your camera.
- Be an Inventor – A wonderful question to start this process is, “What would be the coolest gadget?” Once your child has discussed the answer with you, encourage him/her to draw a diagram of the gadget or build it with items from around the house. Lego bricks are great for this.
- Let Mistakes Happen – As children learn to do things on their own, allow them to make mistakes and encourage a discussion about why things do or don’t work. Mistakes lead to greatness…just look at Alexander Graham Bell and his 1000 ways NOT to make a light bulb!
- Ask Questions – Most children go through the “Why” phase of discovery. Turn the tables on them and start asking them the same question. Creating answers to a plethora of “Why” questions help children to think creatively about the different aspects of things. This works well when writing a story. “Why has the crown gone missing?”. Think ‘cause and effect’, if the crown has gone missing there must be a reason for it.
- Play Games without Instructions – Pull out one of your favourite childhood games to play with your child but hide the instructions. Just give them the pieces and let them create the rules and the object of the game. Why not let them make their own pieces too?
- Make a Documentary – Children love to be entertained, and they love to entertain. Encourage your child to make a film using a Smartphone, tablet or camera. Documentaries are based on fact. Encourage your child to choose something that they’re interested in to make a short film about. The subject could be “why I like my……” It could include them talking to camera about their favorite thing followed by a few shots of them using/playing with it. Don’t forget to plan before you shoot.
- Build a Blog – Our children are much more tech savvy than we were at their ages. Work together but let them be the Editor-in-Chief or creator of a family blog that chronicles their lives and experiences. Don’t forget to post photos!
Please let us know if you do any of our suggestions. We’d love to see your photos and videos, why not share them on our Facebook page?