We've talked about Why we need to teach creativity, we've discussed some of the Hows of teaching creativity, and we've listed some resources for teaching creativity.
Over the coming weeks, we'll continue to share resources and ideas for developing creativity in our children (and in ourselves!) Today's topic: Creative Challenges for Kids.
One way to encourage children's creativity is to give them a challenge. This can be done in a number of ways. Here are three ways to get your children's creative juices flowing:
1. Individual or Family Challenges
This can be a spur of the moment challenge from mom or dad, or a regularly occurring family event. Give a child, or the whole family, a set of parameters or a collection of supplies and issue the challenge.
Grab a handful of office supplies, hand it to a bored child, set a timer for 30 minutes, and see what cool invention they can come up with.
Or have a variety of craft supplies and recycled items available, and have each member of the family design their own ___________ (bird, vehicle, building, robot...the list is endless.) This can be customized according to family interests or what is being studied in school at the time.
Another possibility is to let the child come up with the challenge.
This is a great example of a family challenge: Pipe Cleaner Challenge
2. Community Events
Check your local newspaper or community calendar for creative opportunities in your area. Art fairs are often available through your child's school or homeschool group. State and county fair competitions can provide great motivation for creative projects. Local nature centers, businesses, and civic organizations sometimes sponsor competitions as well.
3. Online Challenges
There are two types of online challenges...challenges for which children actually submit their creative projects by a certain deadline, and open-ended challenge ideas which are for personal use only and can be done in any time frame. The following list contains both types:
- Creative Kids 30 Day Challenge - I think we are going to take this idea and run with it this year. I'd love to do a 30-day drawing challenge, a 30-day nature journal challenge, a 30-day creative mail challenge, etc. Having a set time frame would be good accountability for the whole family (especially mom!)
- Think! A Program Designed to Encourage Kids to Think Outside the Box - Great site with lots of challenge ideas as well as additional info on encouraging creativity in children. Not sure if she is still posting new challenges for submissions, but keep an eye out for those just in case.
- Creativity Games: Brain Training for Creativity - I haven't spent much time on this site yet, but it looks like an excellent resource for developing creative thinking skills in children and adults. I'm planning on incorporating some of these into our school year this year.
- Creative Every Day Challenge - Low-key, monthly themed challenges
- Doodle 4 Google - Yearly art contest where kids can create a Google Doodle and compete for college scholarship money.
- 52 Weeks of Drawings - Ideas for 52 weeks of drawing challenges
- Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids - Not exactly challenges, per se, but a great list of drawing projects and ideas
- Illustration Friday - Weekly art challenge
(As always, I'm unable to vouch for everything on these sites. Please use your own discretion in determining their appropriateness for your family!)
This is part 4 in an ongoing series of Creativity Thursdays here on Ponderings of an Elect Exile. You can catch up on the previous posts through these links:
Teaching Creativity When You Don't Feel Creative (And Why Do I Need to Teach Creativity, Anyway?)
Teaching Creativity: Where Do I Start?
20 Resources for Teaching Creativity
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