1) The Importance of Thinking Tools
Help children/students understand that thinking can be fun and challenging. Teach them a variety of creative/critical thinking tools. Start by teaching them to use a tool called S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Give children/students frequent opportunities to use thinking tools so they can can improve with practice.
2) The Importance of Play & Daydreaming
Imaginative play continues to be a necessary ingredient for enhancing creativity. Play is an extremely important way children/students learn and make sense of their world. Investigate Einstein’s “Thought Experiments” and encourage your child/student to daydream frequently. Include time for drawing and writing about thoughts and ideas.
3) The Importance of Environment
Model your own personal creative interests, hobbies and passions! Let children/students see you creating and changing ideas and products over time. Make a space for materials and inspirational pictures to encourage creative explorations. Discuss progress, next steps, and ideas together. Make room for informal creative thinking niches.
4) The Importance of Humor
Humor has many benefits that help establish a creative climate. These include improved self-esteem, motivation, anxiety reduction, engagement, and enhanced creative thinking. Purposefully bring humor into all learning environments. Start with a joke of the day, humor calendar, etc. Encourage children/students to use humor in the products they create.
5) The Importance of Music
There are a number of skills associated with both music and creativity. These include forming and recognizing patterns, imagining, energizing the learning, focusing concentration, attention, and memory. Play a wide variety of different types of music. Experiment with letting children/students learn, think, and create while using headphones.
6) The Importance of Creative Behaviors
Creative behaviors exist in all children to varying degrees. Some are fun and some are not so fun: intellectual risk-taking, stubbornness, curiosity, flexibility, imagination, and resiliency to name a few. Make the home and school environment an accepting and welcoming place for creative behaviors. Research and read more about the behaviors of famous creatives.
7) The Importance of Questions
Use question stems to encourage the growth of imaginations and creative ideas. How might we …? I wonder …? Is it possible to …? What happens if …? How else might …? Can you imagine …? What other …? Here’s a list of favorite “What ifs”: We had 3 arms? People could fly? We could hear each other’s thinking? Water was red?
8) The Importance of Brain Starters
Do activities to help the children’s/students’ thinking become more fluent and flexible. If we want children/students to be able to think outside the box we must give them frequent opportunities to do so. Stretching the brain is as important as stretching the body. Learn to use a variety of brainstorming techniques. Start your own collection of visual/verbal puzzles: brain riddles, mystery challenges, mind puzzles, etc. Do these daily!
9) The Importance of Guided Imagery
When children/students are writing or telling stories you can use guided imagery to enhance their imaginations. Ask them to imagine or draw a detailed picture of their story. Next go through the five senses and ask them what they might add to the picture using each of the five senses - something they could taste, touch, see, feel or hear.
10) The Importance of Advocacy
Become a Creativity Crusader! Learn more about the importance of integrating creativity into the lives of children/ students. Share your findings with other parents/teachers - spread the word! Creativity exists in all areas of learning – way beyond Art and Music classes. Creativity changes children’s/students’ lives. Creativity changes the world.