15 Questions to Spark Creative Thought
We’re celebrating tinkering today! Tinkerlab has released a fantastic book.
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!
64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
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Analytical thinking skills truly will help them in every aspect of their lives. 🙂 Have fun!
Dr Berkowitz Sr
At this time it seems like WordPresss is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.
(from whatt I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?
beth willis miller
I love your website and this post…just wanted to share these Strategies for Identifying and Developing Imagination in Children from my blog post…
Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration are the four primary strategies for developing and improving creative thinking or imagination.
Fluency is the ability to think of many answers to a question, to list many possible solutions to a problem, or to generate a number of responses. Fluency is being able to think of lots of plans or ideas. You are fluent when you can:
Think of a long list of reasons for not cleaning your room.
Make a very long list of games to play at a party.
List many uncommon uses for a common thing, like a shoelace.
Flexibility is the ability to change your way of thinking about a problem or situation. It is the ability to think of alternative ideas and to adapt to different situations. You are flexible when you can:
Think of indoor games to play when your birthday party has been rained out.
Think of another way to reach the top shelf when you can’t find the stepladder.
Invent an interesting way to wash the kitchen floor.
Originality is the ability to think of fresh or unusual designs, ideas, responses, or styles. People who are original are independent and creative in their thoughts and actions. They create things that are new, different, or unique. You are original when you can:
Suggest a unique name for your new baby sister.
Devise a tool that will help you hold a pencil while your broken arm is in a cast.
Design a get-well card for a sick friend and write your own message inside.
Elaboration is the process of expanding an idea by adding detail. To elaborate, you must understand the original idea and see a way to clarify or improve it by adding specific details. You are elaborating when you add to, enlarge, enrich, or expand descriptions, designs, drawings, explanations, instructions, reports or stories. You are using elaboration when you can:
Add extra details to a community map so that a friend can find your house more easily.
Tell more about a character in a story so that a reader can identify with him or her.
Explain the instructions for a game in greater detail than was used by the manufacturer of the game.
I love your post and your list of questions. Kids are experts at ‘what would happen if…’ I need to try it myself more.
My favorite is – if I let my kids do it all wrong because I find that my toddler almost never does it the way I think – he loves to mix it up, and I love encouraging his creativity and seeing where it goes. Encouraging creativity is also a big reason we don’t buy many toys. I find that the toddler and the baby create toys out of everyday objects, which I love. (Helpful since we have a small house).