Looking for ways to engage children, spark their imagination, and rid them of boredom? A great way to do this is to celebrate Keep Kids Creative Week, a national initiative seeking to put the spark back into a child’s imagination. Held on the last week of September of each year, founder Bruce Van Patter–an author and illustrator himself–wanted to give kids the support they need to be just that–kids. Using the imagination to create new ideas or solve problems is paramount to being prepared for the 21st century, so check out some ways you can integrate creativity in your school day with your students.
Cut the strings (as much as possible). Give students the basic parameters for an assignment (say, write a fiction story with you as the main character) and then encourage them to think BIG. Have they ever wanted to fly an airplane while fighting spaghetti monsters in a spacesuit? Help them brainstorm and draw those ideas out. It could turn out to be one fantastic story and possibly a best seller!
Create problems for them to solve. STEAM lessons where students design and test a prototype based on information presented/researched during the course of the lesson. For instance, after learning about watersheds, have students create a tool that effectively cleans the rivers from pieces of trash. These kinds of lessons, where multiple solutions are plausible, get children to activate their creativity and use their hands to make something tangible, learning from successes and setbacks faced during the experience..
Cultivate creativity at home. Encourage families to do projects together, such as a family collage, family narrative about a special time, or science investigation. When families engage in learning activities in any way, it builds the prior knowledge of the student and sets them up for academic success in the future.
What other ways do you express creativity? Share below.