Creativity exercises

Creativity exercises

Stretching the imagination muscle.


Although most kids are born creative, they begin to lose the ability as they get older if they aren't given opportunity to use it. Just like a muscle, creativity needs a regular workout to remain strong and healthy.

In many schools, creativity is inadvertently stamped out in our children as they are forced to fit into a mold with their peers and follow all instructions to a tee. Consider implementing “creativity” training with young children (and older kids, too!) to keep those muscles pumping and the ideas flowing for the rest of their lives.

I like to take a midday break for a silly creative activity. Although I give an inspiration idea, no creative project is ever wrong, even if the child completely ignores the provided inspiration. For example, I may tell the kids to draw an ice cream Sunday consisting of all their favorite things, minus the ice cream. Or perhaps we take turns telling stories about a real event, but replacing any people in the story with an animal and any animals in the story with a person.

Silly songs also work well. Take a well-known song, such as Row, Row Your Boat, and change the word boat to something else, such as shoe. The kids will laugh and soon will be changing even more words and eventually writing their own songs.

I like manipulative creative activities. Sometimes I give the kids dice with the instruction that they need to roll it then draw a comic strip that somehow integrates the number they rolled. Color or letter die also work well as story or art builder inspiration. These activities don't have to take long, perhaps 15 minutes, but they keep those creative thinking synapses firing for many hours afterward.