Creativity is a skill that can be learned, and it should be constantly practiced to become stronger.
So many people think that creativity is something that you need to be born with. Yet, creativity is a way of thinking; a skill that can be learned. Much like athletes are constantly working out to develop stronger muscles, creativity is also something that needs to be practiced and exercised.
Here are our picks for helping parents and students maintain creativity:
For Parents To help us infuse creativity in our children, we should understand the importance of creativity in our children’s life and how to foster creativity in ourselves.
Creative Schools, By Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity” was one of the most watched TED Talks of all time. He makes the case that we need to radically reinvent our school system to cultivate creativity. This book goes deeper to discuss the origins of formal education and the role it was created to serve. He then explains what is required for our children to be marketable in the future job market. He argues the change that is required in education to better prepare our children for their future and examples of institutions that are implementing this change.
The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently By Rod Judkins
Rod Judkins is a Creativity Consultant. Businesses seek him out to help their employees develop new and innovative ways of approaching problems. His book The Art of Creative Thinking includes little known short anecdotes of creative thinkers throughout history. In many cases, these people made mistakes, or took daring risks. At the end of each section he brings up a key takeaway and action step to foster our creativity.
For Older Kids The Steal like an Artist Journal By Austin Kleon
This journal, based his best-selling book of the same name, focuses on the idea that creativity isn’t the need to create something completely new, but creativity comes from using what we see and observe around us to spark ideas that we connect in new ways. Find an old photo and paste it here. Come up with 10 different captions. Make half funny, half sad.
This format gets students in the habit of keeping a creative notebook and constantly scouring their everyday lives to find connections and develop something new.
This Equals That By Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin
This mainly wordless book stretches our creative thinking by looking for connections between seemingly unrelated side-by-side photos. The photos present items of the everyday, that when we look deeper, reveal shapes, patterns, cause-and-effect, and geometry.
As the book progresses, the connections become less obvious. The book is meant to be looked at with other people to discuss and understand varying perspectives. Kids should be challenged to go beyond what first comes to their mind to look deeper and come up with a series of ideas. Students can use this format to look more deeply at the everyday and make seemingly unrelated connections.
For Younger Kids If Apples Had Teeth By Milton and Shirley Glaser
Illustrated by Milton Glaser, the designer who created the infamous “I heart NY” logo in the 1970’s, this book is back in print for the first time in almost 60 years. It presents whimsical scenarios connecting what would happen “If..” “If apples had teeth, they would bite back.”
“If snakes were salted, they would be pretzels.”
“If trees were pink, they would be nevergreens.”
Students can use these ideas as a springboard to create their own seemingly unrelated ideas and explain them.
Journey By Aaron Becker (Wordless Books)
Sometimes students are afraid to express their creativity because they think there should always be a right answer. Wordless picture books guide students to use visuals to create their own unique interpretations.
Journey is part of a trilogy that uses finely detailed illustrations to present magical worlds.
Readers can be challenged to look more deeply at the photos, to see what they originally didn’t notice, to make new connections.