Creative Problem Solving
Creativity is the ability to see things in a new way, to see problems that no one else may even realize exist, and then come up with new, unique, and effective solutions to these problems.
Here are some activities to promote creativity in children:
- Use creative questions. One way to help children to think more creatively is to ask them how they would change things to make them better. (What would taste better if it were sweeter? What would be more fun if it were faster or slower? What would be more interesting if it jumped rather than walked?)
- Ask “what would happen if?”(What would happen if all the trees were gone? What would happen if everyone wore the same clothes? What would happen if an airplane didn’t have wings?)
- Ask “in-how-many-different-ways” questions? (How many places can you find a circle? How many different places can you find a square?)
- Use creative play. Activities such as “follow the leader” encourage a child to think of creative movement and experience the reward of others following their example.
- Use props to create new ideas. (Animal cracker game – child chooses one cracker; looks at it; then eats it. The child then becomes that animal using creative movement to show how that animal acts and moves.)
We who encourage children’s creativity have an opportunity to learn about a child’s thinking processes and their way of perceiving the world. Encouraging creativity can help foster children’s abilities to prepare for a future of dealing with change in a resilient manner.
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Army.
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