Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Creativity Alive and Well In Your Home?

Not long ago, Newsweek magazine published an article about how creativity in kids is declining each year. Kids today are used to playing with a toy based on its sole purpose. They no longer look at a toy and say “What else can it do?” Almost all toys come with batteries these days and they do not lend themselves to creative play. Without creativity in your life, how can you look at a problem and know how to solve it? How can you improve the world without creativity? The answer to both of these questions is that you can’t.

It is time to bring creativity back into your home. Below are some suggestions on how to go about this.

Have an electronic item/appliance that no longer works? Take it apart and let the kids play with the pieces; encourage them to create something with it. Your your best judgement on ages and size of pieces.

Give your child an empty cardboard box or paper towel tube and then ask them “What do you think you can make with this?” Once they bounce some ideas, encourage them to try making those things. Boxes can become boats, houses, cars or planes. Paper towel tubes can become binoculars, tunnels for cars or magic fairy wands.

Research shows that children learn lots through make believe. Encourage them to pick out a favorite story and act it out with them. They could even make some props to go along with the story if they would like.

Leave Halloween costumes and other dress up clothes accessible to your kids year round.

Have a fort building contest. Lay our some blankets and fabrics and see what they come up with.

Keep art supplies accessible for the kids. Set up a corner in a room where they have space to create a project.

Busy hands help the brain to form. Building blocks and Lego’s are great activities but they are not the only thing to build with. Give your child a deck of cards, or some miniature marshmallows and toothpicks, regular marshmallows and coffee stirrers or straws. The possibilities are endless.

Play lots of different types of music in your home. Ask your children how a piece of music makes them feel; happy, sad, excited. Every piece of music stimulates something in us.

Encourage your kids to be creative in their daily endeavors. Encourage them to look at all solutions before they pick one.


  1. I handed my 3 oldest huge amazon boxes, some markers and stickers and I did not see or hear for them for over an hour!!! they all came up with different themes for their boxes (aka jet plane, movie theater and boat). It was awesome!

  2. Thanks for commenting Sarah! I let mine play with boxes all the time. We even stocked his kitchen area with empty boxes.