Tag Archives: children and creativity

7 Steps to Creative Thinking in Kids

In a world dominated by technology, creative thinking is at a premium. While we can find the answer to most any question just by goggling it, one thing that computers can’t do is create new ideas, problem solve or design projects that are outside of the box.  It takes the creative human mind to to connect the dots.

Is creativity just something some people are born with?

Is it possible to teach kids how to think creatively?

If so how?

7 steps to creative thinking:

  • Narrow the field– I know this is a surprising first step because most of us think to be creative that we need to widen the field of choices.  We believe we need to consider all the possible options.  Instead the brain is overwhelmed by too many choices and it is more productive in a smaller playing field.  Sometimes thinking creatively doesn’t mean thinking outside the box but instead changing the choices, connections and relationships inside the box.  Here are some examples of narrowing the field that can result in creative work:
    • Tell a story in 10 words
    • Draw a picture using just one color
    • Design a 7 step process for developing a new skill
  •  Re-frame the problem– This involves thinking about the problem in a new way by asking, “What if it’s possible?”
    •  What if it’s possible to maintain someone’s attention by creating a story with only 10 words?
    • What if it’s possible to tell a story where color plays an important role in the story?  (Check out the Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.)
    • What if it’s possible to learn how to make friends in 6 easy steps? Check out Dale Carnegie’s book, How to win friends and influence people)
  • Separate research from development– Designate a particular time for gathering information and a later time for compiling and developing your information.  Just as it’s hard to research and write a story at the same time, its hard to think creatively about solving a problem when you are still gathering  data.  Multitasking isn’t effective in any arena of effort.
  • Silence the critic within- Our creative thinking is often squelched by our inner critic who is constantly offering negative comments and criticisms.  By deciding not to judge whether or not something is a good idea or even possible in the initial stages of creative thinking, you are able to open the door to imagination and originality. Learn to enjoy the process as much as the end result.
  • Sleep on it– Taking a break or sleeping on an idea and returning to it later allows the unconscious mind to sort through ideas and consider new and unique possibilities.  It releases inventiveness and ingenuity.
  • Think about how your work will benefit others– We often need to develop some personal distance from a project and asking how others will benefit or enjoy the end result helps to provide that space.  We can become more engaged in a project when we think it will help someone else than when we are doing it for ourselves.
  • Recognize the effort as well as the finished project– not everything works out as well as we would hope.  However when we encourage a growth mindset and praise the time and effort that went into a project, we are setting the stage for more creativity in the future.

Related Posts:

Teach Girls Bravery not Perfection

5 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Kids

4 Skills Your Child will Need as an Entrepreneur


Wyatt’s Little Book of Lesson Plans, Worksheets and Games

Just for you!  Here are activities, lesson plans, discussion questions, coloring sheets, word search puzzles and games for each of the six Wyatt the Wonder Dog Books.  Over 75 pages of ideas so that you can create lessons on cooperation, teamwork and leadership skills to quickly extend and incorporate the Wyatt stories.





Five Ways to Encourage Creativity in Kids

Wonder how to encourage children to be creative?

Do you find students are more and more dependent on adults and technology for inspiration and ideas?

Looking for ways to tap into every child’s creative spirit?

In the Success magazine article, Get Unstuck:  Seventeen Ways To Bring More Creativity into Your Daily Life and Work author, Keri Smith was asked if she had any good synonyms for the word ‘creative’ to which she replied, “Life, I try not to separate the two.”  Good advice!

Here are five ways to encourage creativity in  kids without breaking the bank:

  1. Play--Every kid (and adult) needs playtime.  Much of our modern day life tends to minimize free play with structured sports, classes and mindless television/videos. Free play is probably the number one way to nurture creativity.
  2. Thought experiments–Ask “What if questions… What if the sun were a ball of cheese? What if an arcade were made of boxes?”  Encourage children to ask themselves similar questions to develop imagination and the habit of invention.
  3. Try new things–read books on dramatically different topics, watch movies that are different from the norm, attend unique performances, try international food, travel somewhere new.  Teach children to expand their world and be inspired by the creativity of others.
  4. Do the opposite–change something about a routine, write/draw with the opposite hand, eat dinner for breakfast, consider a problem to be solved—what would be the opposite of success?  what creates failure?
  5. Pay attention to your dreams–some of history’s greatest innovations were products of dreams.  The search engine Google, came from a dream that Larry Page, co-founder had.  The book Frankenstein came originally from a dream of Mary Shelly. Discuss dreams and  challenge kids to write or draw out their dreams.

Stuff Parents Want to Know:  Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 

In twenty years of school counseling I’ve been asked a lot of questions.  This ebook is a compilation of some of the most common ones along with some effective strategies and books you can read with your child to address the problem. stuffparents   Click on the link below to purchase:

Stuff Parents Want to Know: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions