Stretching creative muscles

PARENTS' CORNER

August 15, 1999|By Jerdine Nolen

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores creative thinking and how to nurture it in children. Her column appears biweekly.

You could say that almost any kind of thinking is thinking creatively. After all, someone had to create it or think it up. Thinking is a creative activity when one is allowed to be inventive. And when we allow thinking to flow over and elaborate on it, I call that creative thinking. One familiar use of constructive creative thinking, which teachers use a lot, is called brainstorming, brain teasers or brain stretching.

Here are some examples:

List/say as many zoo animals as you can

List/say as many zoo animals as you can in three minutes

List/say as many zoo animals as you can without tails

List/say as many zoo animals as you can with tails

List/say as many zoo animals with tails as you can in three minutes

Get the picture? It can go on and on and on. Try brainstorming, brain teasers or brain stretching games during long driving trips.

Practicing this kind of thinking with children encourages brain development and stimulates:

Reasoning

Compartmentalizing

Categorizing

Visualizing

Recalling information

Risk-taking

Language development

Making associations

Making comparisons

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award-winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 08/15/99

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.