We are getting ready for National Keep Kids Creative Week September 27 through October 3, which is a time where parents are encouraged to eliminate or at least cut down on kids’ screen time and help them brainstorm creative activities instead.
Kids are natural innovators with powerful imaginations. And creativity offers an abundance of intellectual, emotional, and even health benefits. One study found that kids’ imaginations helped them cope better with pain. Creativity also helps kids be more confident, develop social skills, and learn better.
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate National Keep Kids Creative Week.
Draw pictures together: The goal here is imaginative drawing, not realistic. Invent your own animals by starting a drawing of an animal and having different family members add things. Make up your own cartoon characters and give them personalities. For extra fun, draw them on t-shirts!
Listen to some new music: Find some examples of music you never listen to as a family. Even if you all hate it, you can talk about it. See if your kids can explain what makes that music different than the tunes they usually listen to.
Look at the work of creative people: This could mean going to a museum to see paintings or sculpture, or it could mean getting some art books out of the library. Why not get a few picture books by the same illustrator and discuss with your kids what they like about that artist?
Build something: Find some art materials or building materials and create your own structure or sculpture. It doesn’t have to be functional; making it a unique expression is enough. Want it even simpler? Use Legos, or other readily available building toys.
Go on a Scavenger Hike: Go on a hike with your kids and look for a list of things you decided on ahead of time. How is this creative? It helps train observational skills; and some of your items you choose can be ones open to interpretation.
Invent a game: Making up games is a great way to keep kids’ imagination thriving. Start with a game of tag. Make up new rules each round.
Build a fort: Tap into your child’s imagination and have them create the ultimate fort for hiding, reading, or just relaxing.
Dinner theme night: Have your child brainstorm ideas for a dinner theme night every week. Then, everyone shows up at the table dressed to impress! Try ‘70s night, ‘80s night, favorite cartoon character, favorite rock star, favorite TV character – the list goes on.