Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stimulate Creative Thinking

Sherlock Holmes was one ... he was a great a detective (and a fictional character), but first and foremost, he was an ASTUTE OBSERVER. He was smart, and he knew a lot about many subjects, but his remarkable knack for solving crimes arose from his ability to use his senses. When he arrived at a crime scene, he sniffed the air, he touched surfaces, he listened for creaks and sounds, he tasted the dust on the table, and he observed - everything, every detail.

If we want our kids to grow their awareness of the world around them, and, as a result, increase their abiltiy to think creatively, we need to encourage them to use their senses. There are many ways to teach kids to SEE, HEAR, TOUCH, TASTE and SMELL, but the following ideas for brainstorms are fun, and encourage them not only to pay attention to the world around them, but to put words to images, and images to words.

To get started:
Present one of the following brainstorm challenges and ask kids to start a list of things they notice that fit the challenge. Have them keep the list open and available so that they can continue to add ideas and observations as they discover them. Remind them that in this activity, as in all brainstorms. creative, original, unusual, different, strange, imaginative, even silly responses are all welcome.

Brainstorm a list of as many things that you notice or think of that are:
  • As round and as red as a red dot (there are so many answers to this one, answers will wake you from your dreams)
  • Taller than a telephone pole
  • Louder than a cricket
  • Smell like a holiday
  • Smooth
  • Upside down
  • Shiny
  • Used only in water
  • Sour
  • Made with carrots