In the past four Mondays, I wrote tips and ideas for parents to boost kids’ creativity. If you have had a chance to read them all, you know by now that kids’ creativity is very important to their success – experiencing life to the fullest and getting the most out of it.
Today, I will dedicate time to 3 more ideas that will encourage kids to think differently and add more creative connections to their natural creative mind.
The “Blank Sheet of Paper” activity
One of my favorite activities is the “blank sheet of paper” activity. This activity can be given to kids from 4 to 99 years of age. In some of my workshops, I give it to grownups and it is amazing how simple it is and how hard it is for people to do. The activity is simple and can be done in groups or individuals.
You give kids a blank sheet of paper and ask them to come up with 100 activities they can do with that paper within a given time. When done in groups, you can limit find out how many activities the kids can find in that time. When done individually with a kid who can write, they can let you know when they are done. When done with kids who cannot write, ask them to come up with ideas and write the ideas for them. With young kids, start by asking them for 10 ideas, then increase with age.
Kids may try to get away with similar ideas, like “origami swan, origami frog, origami palm tree”, so tell them in advance to come up with different ideas. I also give extra points to original ideas, like using the sheet as a spout or making holes to create a sieve.
By the way, if you want to see how challenging this activity is, do it yourself!
Recycling art is a great way to help kids find creative uses for ordinary things. Besides being creative, this also has the educational value of promoting sustainability and making a difference in our society. If the art is useful, it has another function (another life) and this is excellent.
At first, you will have to do recycled artwork with your kids and to be the creative mind behind it, but over time with more exposure and experience, they will come up with their own ideas. Attached are 10 creative ideas for recycling art that can teach kids different ways to use an item that is no longer in use.
- Make shoe boxes into drawers. I use them to collect items for art and craft and label them. Encourage your kids to decorate the boxes in a way that will make it easy to recognize.
- Use food colors on coffee filters to make artwork. You can laminate them later and let your kids glue a magnet on the back to make them useful for holding things on the fridge. If you do not have a laminating machine, your kids can stick cardboard to the back and then a magnet. This may not last forever, but it will hold until the next artistic magnet comes along.
- Make pen and pencil containers from milk cartons or plastic bottles. Use glue to paste photos from old magazine on the carton. Make sure your kids paste photos over the edges to make sure they are not sharp.
- Make useful containers from old cans. Again, just make sure your kids glue the decoration over all the edges of the cans.
- Use old shoes as plant pots. We took my son’s old sports shoes (somehow he manages to destroy every pair within 3 months) and planted things in them and they look great in our garden.
- Make a frame from pieces of old puzzles that cannot be used anymore. Let you kids color the pieces of puzzle in different colors and attach them to the frame. They can add small googly eyes to each piece and it will make them look like little puzzle people.
- Transform old jam, mayonnaise or coffee jars into containers for beads, hair bands, clips, erasers or pencils. Your kids can use some glass paint, stickers, magazine clips or fabric for decoration. Encourage them to make more than one and talk to them about how to use them best.
- Decorated recycled CDs. Your kids can take old CDs, glue glitter on them and hang them in such a way they will sparkle in the sun. In fact, they can make whole mobiles out of old CDs for added movement and a rustling sound.
- Use old CDs to put in the garden patch as signs to identify fruits and vegetables. Your kids can use paint or permanent markers to write on the CDs. If they want to paste magazines clips instead, they can put varnish on top to keep their creations safe from the weather.
- Make recycled notepads. Take recycled paper (I hope you collect and recycle your paper) and let your kids cut it into a convenient size for taking notes. Ask them to make a nice decorated cover from cardboard, staple the top corner and cover the staples with colorful glue, a ribbon or some fabric. Alternatively, you can punch a whole in the corner and tie a ribbon through it to keep the paper together.
Science fiction and fantasy
Promote your kids’ interest in science fiction and fantasy. The most creative inventors of all times were interested in science fiction. Someone once said that creativity is the ability to go where no one else has ever been and science fiction is that place. Encourage your kids to read science fiction and fantasy books where the impossible is very possible. Bring science fiction books from the library and make sure the books are suitable for their age. It can be fairies and dragons, wizards or space – anything that can spark the imagination is a wonderful tool to boost their creativity.
Join me next week for 3 more tips to boost your kids’ creativity.
Happy and creative parenting,