Children's Creativity

Ideas for encouraging children's creativity and examples of children's creativity in action.

A DIY Fishing Game and Pretend Play with Fort Magic (+GIVEAWAY!)

A DIY Fishing Game with a Fort Magic Canoe

The Fort Magic kit and pretend play go hand in hand in our household.

We usually build something—a submarine, airplane, fort, igloo—that then encourages all kinds of imaginative play over the next few days.

This time the kids started with a pretend play idea (a diy fishing game ) and decided to make something with the Fort Magic kit to go with it.

Note :: Check out the Fort Magic giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win one of your own.

It all started when Maia and Daphne were sitting on top of the washer “fishing” with a piece of yarn…. 

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Tinkerlab :: A Creative Thinking Book for Kids (+GIVEAWAY!)

Tinkerlab -- The Book by Rachelle DoorleyI am so excited to kick off the blog tour for Tinkerlab, the new creative thinking book for kids by Rachelle Doorley (of Tinkerlab blog fame).

Rachelle is a good friend and I’ve seen this book develop over the years from a brilliant blog (still is, of course) to an idea, a book, and finally now to publication date.

Tinkerlab :: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors

I sent Rachelle a copy of my favorite writing book when she began writing hers. I introduced her to my editor (yes, we have the same amazing editor), and when I read an early copy of the book, I was so impressed by the writing and ideas that I wrote a blurb for her back cover:

“I highly recommend Tinkerlab to any parent with young children! I read the book in one sitting (it was that well written) but know that I will be referring back to it for years as I encourage my own daughters’ tinkering, experimenting, and creative development.”

And now, I feel honored to kick off the Tinkerlab blog tour

Tinkerlab :: A Creative Thinking Book for Kids


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Light Table Toys and Tools

Tools and Toys for Light Exploration -- And for  Inspiring Creativity on the Light TableAt the end of my post yesterday about the heart suncatchers, I promised to share what else we’ve done so far with the light table.

Thank you first though for your ideas for light table play, both in the blog comments and on facebook! I can’t wait to give those a try with my kids!

As I mentioned yesterday, our light table is a super easy DIY version (a clear plastic storage box with white Christmas lights!), and we’ve only had it for about a month.

That said, here’s what we’ve tried so far:

Note: When I finally decided to make the light table, I placed an order with Discount School Supply for some things I thought would be fun to try on the light table, so these items are all from there, although some you might be able to find elsewhere.

Light Table Toys and Tools


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5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids’ Creativity Today

5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids Creativity Today -- Easy-to-implement ideas you can do right now or any time!Fostering creativity, arguably the most important skill for the next generation, begins at home.

Here are 5 Ways You Can Encourage Your Kids’ Creativity Today:

1.  Set out paper that is much smaller than usual or much larger than usual. And pair it with a pencil or some paints.

2. Cut a hole through the middle of a piece of paper, and invite your child to do a hole challenge drawing by including a cup of markers next to it. Or a couple sheets of hole reinforcement stickers.

3. Ask a question that invites or challenges them to try a favorite activity in a new way. Building, for example.

Can you build a house with cards?

How would you build a fort with newspaper?

How tall do you think you could make a tower with playdough? With marshmallows?

4. Send them on a Make and Do Scavenger Hunt.

5. Put a drawing prompt on the chalkboard (or piece of paper/cardboard etc) and see how they respond.

Apples & Buckets :: Simple Props for Creative Play

Open Ended Play for Kids Inspired by Rainbow-Colored Wooden Apples and Buckets

My four-year-old and her friend Emily surprised me by playing for hours with some little wooden apples and rainbow buckets

They sorted them, carried them, "ate" them, fed them to their (stuffed) animals, danced with them, created games around them, brought them along in the car and giggled about what silly things Maia might do with them when we picked her up, hid them, found them, and carried (pretend) water in the buckets.


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Art with Building Blocks

Art with Building Blocks

Just a quick post today. I wanted to share some spontaneous art-making that Maia did the other day with some plain wooden blocks. The blocks are from IKEA—a set of 100 long thin ones that I bought for $9.99. They are meant for building with and Maia made a few houses and other structures that kept falling down when one of us would bump into a table (usually me). 

The blocks still got used, though, just in different ways than how they were intended.


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Art for Playdates :: Making it Work

Art for Playdates -- Ideas for Making it Work

I often set up art activities for my kids (this you know, right?) but make a special effort during playdates to have something up my sleeve. I do this, partly just because I'm me and art is foremost in my parenting toolkit, and partly because I think creative activities are especially great for:


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Inspiring Creativity with Crayon Wallets

Crayon Wallets for Inspiring Children's Creativity!

I ordered some crayon wallets from Mama May i a while back that have been a huge hit with Maia and Daphne. I gave them to the girls on the drive down to Atlanta last weekend and instead of being used briefly and then passed over for activity books and such, the girls used their crayon wallets much of the car ride down…  

…and on and off throughout the weekend…


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Why I Framed My Ten Thousand Villages Bag


Daphne's been drawing up a storm lately. She draws at the easel and on big poster board. She draws on little notecards and post-its. She draws in lined Hello Kitty notebooks.

And when we're sitting in the car waiting and I don't have any paper on me, she draws on shopping bags. (And then I hang the bags on our frame wall with all the other drawings and paintings my kids have made recently.)


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Creating Creative Kids (A FamilyFun Article)

Family Fun Article on Creating Creative Kids

Do you subscribe to FamilyFun magazine? I have off and on over the years and always find fun ideas to try out within it's colorful pages. This time when my issue arrived, I was excited not only because of the cover topic:

Creativity Begins at Home

Totally my bag! 

But also because I was one of the five experts/parents interviewed and featured in the article!


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