If you’d like to encourage tinkering, curiosity and creative thinking Rachelle Doorley’s Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors (Amazon affiliate) will get your family going. It includes 55 experiments and these are ideas that will work for preschooler and still be exciting for a 9 year old. Thank goodness for ideas that work for multiple ages!
Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors also talks about:
- Tinkering tools you need (hint, many can come right out of the recycle bin.)
- How to manage messy explorations
- Setting up easy family art areas
- How to choose art supplies
- Down-to-earth ways to talk about art with kids
- Simple habits you can start to encourage creative thinking
Just to get you going on all this creative experimenting, I am going to give you my favorite question to spark creative thought:
I wonder what would happen if…?
This is a particularly useful question when it comes to creating with kids. It is a question that invites play and experimentation. Use it often both to change the way you think of your child’s play and to explore the answer with your child.
15 “I Wonder What Would Happen If” Questions:
I wonder what would happen if:
- We add water to this?
- We take this outside?
- We take turns doing this?
- I stop talking?
- I ask my child where I should put this?
- I get out my own paper and give this a try?
- We mix THIS with THAT?
- We took a little break and came back to this later?
- I just let my kid do this all wrong?
- I turn on music while we do this?
- I set out this other art supply near my child?
- I only set out two colors?
- We glue something to this?
- I simply say, “Oh?” and let my child talk about it.
- We don’t do this the way the directions say we should?
Creating naturally involves scary feelings as we try things we don’t know. If you can take on a feeling of curiosity, it can help you move through the scary feelings and allow you to try something new. You don’t have to take on something completely-wildly unfamiliar- the first step in creativity is allowing yourself to experiment just outside your current comfort zone. The more practice you get at this, the stronger your creativity will grow, and eventually you will easily be able to say a big fat “YES, I AM CREATIVE!”
If the idea of raising creative thinkers excites you, be sure to check out Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors. It’s a wonderful place to start. I received a copy of this book to review…and also I’m quoted in it (yay!!) Go take a look, I’m so happy for Rachelle to have this beautiful book in print!
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.