There have been many articles published recently about the importance of creativity and how to foster it, both in adults and in children. For adults, the Wall Street Journal suggests that one of the most important keys is to step back from the issue and daydream. Your mind just have the ability to find a solution or an invention on it's own, but thinking about it too hard may inhibit that ability. For kids, the BBC reminds us how imaginative kids can be when given the time. Allowing them to be bored or to have unstructured time gives them the chance to invent imaginary worlds to act out, write or draw.
Sometimes we need a spark to get our brains thinking outside of our everyday boxes. Prompts can come in any form, even a picture. One of the great things about art is that even the youngest kids at Read-Alouds can be successful, they don't need to be able to read or write yet.
Give kids a clipping of a picture, such as a part of an animal or a piece of a building or something that relates to your theme. Bring multiple options so each child has their own starting point. Glue or print it onto a page in a random location. Then ask each child to complete the picture in their own way. Their creative wheels will start turning with all of the directions they can take their art.
Ask each child to share the story behind their picture. You'll be impressed of how much they've thought through their scene. If they struggle, ask what season it is, why the animal or person is there, where are his friends and any other question to prompt the child to explore the scene.
If kids want to continue to expand on their scene, ask them to write the story of their scene. Who knows, it could be the start of a great storytelling experience.
For other ideas of open-ended crafts check out this recent post. The inspiration and artwork from this post comes from ArtMommie.
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