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    « Experiment: Neocolors in Moleskine I | Main | Books I Might Actually Read in 2009 (First Draft) »

    To Encourage Creativity, Get Back to Basics

    <Time, space & materials to do creative things> A table covered with postal paper as a base for art projects. Art supplies & creative gear in clear containers so you and your kids can find what they need. Rotate boxes of art supplies, toys, books, construction gear & puzzles to ensure continuing discoveries. 

    <Creative problem solving> Design an obstacle course for the living room/yard using things from around the house.

    <Creative thought> Read books together.

    <New sights> Go to an art museum, a play, to the tallest building in the city. Go on a pattern hunt.

    <New sounds> Use a digital voice recorder to record sounds around the house or city.

    <New scents> Pick flowers from your garden and compare scents. Put different scents in small containers – popcorn, a slice of lime, chocolate, rose petals, crayons, play doh, vanilla, a slice of melon, nutmeg, grapefruit juice, mom’s perfume - see if you can figure out what they are (while blindfolded).

    <New textures> Pick fruit and make a pie. Walk on the beach barefoot.

    <New tastes> Do taste tests of different types of chocolate, blindfolded.

    <Do everyday things differently> Buy groceries in reverse – if you typically start in produce, end in produce! Take a different route to school.

    <New perspectives> Set up a fun debate. Chocolate or vanilla? Contacts or glasses? Monopoly or Trouble?

    <Use spatial reasoning> Draw a map of an imaginary island. Draw a map of your room from different perspectives – if standing in the doorway, and if flying above. 

    <Spend time with people of different ages> Kids can interview grandparents, neighbors, a shop owner, a musician. Play Crazy Eights, dominoes or Yahtzee with relatives and older friends. Include the kids in discussions at the dinner table.

    <Experience traditions> Outings to baseball games with my dad are a treasure. My kids experience his love and respect for the sport and its traditions.

    <Travel> Experience cultures, climates, foods, architecture...

    <Listen to different types of music>  Explore classical to cuban to jazz to alternative and everything in between.

    <Do experiments that interest your kids; listen to their questions and curiosities and help them learn more> Try webbing... it's like mind-mapping. 

    <Read to kids> Invent bed-time stories. Tell them stories about your childhood.

    <Make books together> Staple folded lined paper at the fold and use illustrations to tell a story. Type as your kids tell you their story. Record on a digital voice recorder and transcribe later. Older kids can write stories on smaller paper and you can glue it together with book binding glue. 

    <Organize & classify> Sort stuffed animals by color or habitat. 

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