Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Five Ways to Encourage Creativity in Kids

Career counseling is always a part of a school counselor's guidance lessons but in Georgia there is a new initiative, the Bridge Act, that requires a specified number of lessons per grade level per year.  Suggested lessons are outlined and provided by the state.  The lessons are reasonably interesting but I was looking for examples of ways that kids can begin to explore the talents they have in creative ways when I ran across an absolute gem of a video.  It's a video that has already gone viral so maybe you've already seen it.   It  will make you and your students smile.  It will spark creativity and ingenuity.  It will renew your faith in the kindness of others.  Curious?  Here it is:

Success magazine ran an article last February called Get Unstuck:  Seventeen Ways To Bring More Creativity into Your Daily Life and Work.  One of the sources for the story, author, Keri Smith was asked if she had any good synonyms for the word 'creative' to which she replied, "Life, I try not to separate the two."  Caine is a great example of someone who used his natural talent at nine years old in an amazing way.  His video has been an inspiration to hundreds of other kids as well as adults to make creativity and life synonymous.

Here are five ways to encourage creativity in  kids:

  1. Play--Every kid (and adult) needs playtime.  Much of our modern day life tends to minimize this with structured sports and classes and mindless television/videos. Free play is probably the number one way to nurture creativity.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?  
  5. Remember dreams--some of history's greatest innovations were products of dreams.  The search engine Google, came from a dream that Larry Page, co-founder had.  The book Frankenstein came originally from a dream of Mary Shelly.  Discuss dreams and  challenge kids to write or draw out their dreams.
Career planning and creativity seem to me to go hand in hand.  How do you encourage creativity in the children in your life?  How do you encourage creativity in yourself?

Like this post?  Share with your friends on facebook and twitter! 

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

  1. Play, ask, try, dream! What more could we do for the children and ourselves? Wonderful post, Lynne! I so enjoy your posts, my friend.
    Blessings and love!