Articles : Kids of All Ages: 10 Ways to Cultivate Creativity
Try This, Kids… Get Wild at Home!
10 Ways to Cultivate Creativity: A WildChild Primer for Kids of All Ages
- Color. Buy crayons and a coloring book, and purposefully, intentionally, color outside the lines. Scribble, break the crayons in half, smash them into the page. Write in the margins how it feels to break the rules.
- Spend some time thinking about what you loved as a child. What colors, clothes, games, toys, activities, dreams do you enjoy? Which are currently in your life? Which have you not seen or enjoyed in years? Make a plan to rekindle some of your childhood loves in your daily life, today.
- Create with your body. Take a break from the gym and work out at a local playground. Playing hopscotch, pumping legs on the swings and climbing jungle gyms aren’t just for kids! Or try gardening or hiking to cultivate a kid-like connection with nature.
- Draw your goal. Grab some crayons, markers or colored pencils. Imagine a goal that you’d like to meet, and draw a picture of what it will look like when you’ve reached this goal. Make it detailed, vivid and kid-like! This isn’t about drawing skills — it’s about representing a vision in a fun and uninhibited way. When you’re done, hold it up proudly and say out loud, “I DID THIS!” Tape it to your refrigerator!
- Make a set of “trading cards.” Cut out images that you love from catalogs, magazines or greeting cards. Focus on images that make you feel full, alive and truly happy. Glue these images, collage-style, to an old deck of playing cards. This is a project you can work on a little bit at a time until you have a whole deck of cards that inspire you to dream big and live your fullest life! Don’t forget to collage the outside of the pack!
- Redecorate, kid-style. Walk through your living space and find areas — even small ones — that could use some Wild Child whimsy. Maybe a children’s book belongs with the serious coffee table books. Maybe pipe-cleaner flowers belong in a vase on a kitchen shelf. Find corners where a little smile goes a long way.
- Imagine new pictures. Find an image from a magazine and tear it out. Place it on a flat surface and turn it upside down. Try to find an image, activity or story in the lines and spaces of the upside-down image. If you’re having trouble seeing anything, ask, “If I were a child, what might I see in this picture?” Doodle with markers and pens to expand on and illuminate your image. Add words, if you are drawn to do so.
- Write your to-do list on poster boards taped to a wall. Write with markers, and with your non-dominant hand (or put the marker in your fist and make broad, childlike strokes). On one poster, write a list of things you need to DO. On the other, write a list of things you dream to BE. Move between the two, allowing a free-flowing relationship to develop between them. What do you learn about yourself and your priorities?
- Find a board or card game from your childhood and change the rules. What if CLUE became a game about decorating rooms in Fun House style? What if Twister was a massive canvas for art? What if chess pieces were purple, pink and polka-dotted and the game was about cooperation instead of competition? If possible, alter the actual game board and pieces to celebrate your rebellion against the rules. If that’s not possible, write about your new rules in a journal.
- Go on a nature walk with child’s eyes. Challenge yourself to make each of your senses more open and aware, in the way that a child takes in the world. Gather interesting leaves, rocks or little flowers. Bring them home and arrange them to create your own little nature shrine. •
Artella, found at www.ArtellaWordsAndArt.com, is a magazine, support network, and lively community for writers, artists, and creative spirits. Artella was listed as one of six Web sites sure to ignite creativity in Personal Writing magazine, and was named one of the "101 Best Web Sites for Writers" by Writer’s Digest Magazine.