Fostering creativity in our children is getting harder and harder.
Kids today are being stimulated almost every waking moment by some mindless form of electronic entertainment. Netflix, video games, YouTube videos, Google searches…everything our kids want is at their fingertips.
Gone are the days when kids played for hours at a time with a stick and rock, using their imaginations to make up games. So, how do we foster that creative spirit in our kids?
An article in the Journal of Turkish Science Education suggests that the brainstorming method of teaching can help boost the creative thought process in children.
Brainstorming is a long standing exercise in formal education. Students are given a problem, broken up into groups and asked to propose as many solutions as possible, no matter how wild. After a period of time has elapsed, all students come together and discuss each proposed solution, carrying it to its theoretical end. Based on the theoretical success or failure of the solution, each one is ranked. Eventually, the students are left with a short list of the best possible solutions.
Obviously, this process needs to be modified in order to be used at home, but it can be used. Imagine presenting your children with a basic household problem, like the kitchen trash can fills up too fast, and asking them to brainstorm as many ideas as they can in 15 minutes.
Write down all the ideas and then whittle your list by talking through each scenario. When you get down to the top 3 or 5 ideas, test them out to see what works best.
You might be surprised at the solutions your children come up with, and – as an added bonus – you might even get them to pitch-in more with household chores.