Children are born with creativity. But now, more than ever, they’re losing their innate ability to think outside of the box at early ages. With more pressure on schools and teachers to focus on teaching skills and knowledge needed to pass tests, many times children are missing the opportunity to develop the creative thinking skills needed in today’s world.
This week is Keep Kids Creative Week, so at Creative Action we’re celebrating by brainstorming some free/inexpensive (and simple!) ways to help promote out-of-the-box thinking in children. When kids think unconventionally, question what’s in front of them, and imagine new scenarios, they can produce amazing things.
Our creative staff have come up with a Top 10 Staff Picks list of ways to engage children’s imagination this week:
- Creative compassion activity: Engage your child in thinking about someone who may be feeling sad and could use help or something to cheer them up. Invite your child to help you brainstorm creative ways of lifting their spirits, make a plan, and put it into action. Examples could include recording a personal pep talk video, making a beautiful tactile card, or singing an uplifting song to them. This is a great activity because it engages your child’s creativity and empathy at the same time!
- Painting with nature: Bring the outdoors inside with this little project. Have your kids find small things in the yard like rocks, leaves, and pinecones. Then, have them paint the item with their fingers or paint brushes. OR have them paint the leaves and make natural looking prints. Simple, but so much fun!
- Homemade paper: Not only is this experience rewarding because it’s green – children also get a sensory workout with it as well!
- One word story: This is an improv game that can be fun for the whole family! Have everyone sit in a circle and tell a story one word at a time – each player provides one word of a sentence. To get things started, you can always start with “Once upon a time…” and let the story unfold from there.
- Make homemade watercolors: With just a few ingredients, kiddos can make all the colors their little hearts desire.
- Make a music video with the Triller app. It’s free and so much FUN! It automatically edits the video for you. Choose from fun film filters and do as many takes as you like!
- Popsicle stick puzzle: An inexpensive, fun activity simple enough for young children to help with.
- DIY calm down sensory bottles: These jars offer a quick way to refocus kids and help them manage difficult emotions. They can also be used as great boredom busters like during long car rides or waiting in long lines. Plus, they’re easy to make and your child can pick the items they want to use in their own jar.
- “Minute to win it” family game night: Your family will get great quality time AND a huge amount of laughs.
- Partner pictures: Start a picture with a few random lines (straight, curved, wiggly). Have your child complete the picture and tell you a story about it.
Do you have some favorite activities that help get those creative juices flowing?