Creative Thinking | Craft x Stew
Category name:Creative Thinking

Tangible Things Class: How To See The World Differently

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This Is Not A Chairsource: Maureen Didde

I am currently participating in a free, online class called Tangible Things. It is given by Harvard University and it is about truly seeing and understanding the objects around you.

We did a exercise today that I would like to share with you. The exercise consists of stretching your mind by looking at an object in your home in as many ways as possible.

For instance, a telephone is a form of communication, but it’s also an artifact of modern design, a scientific invention, a retail commodity, a method of relaxation, etc.

To do the exercise yourself, follow these instructions:

1. Watch the video called This Is Not a Chair located on Youtube.

2. Complete the template This is not a _________; it is a __________.

3. Photograph the object, if desired.

Here is my finished exercise

This in not a plate. It is a decorative object. It was purchased for the pleasure it brings to the eye.

This is not a plate. It is a method of eating. It allows the user a simple way of enjoying food away from the immediate area of the stove.

This is not a plate. It is a part of a cooking technique. Food is placed on the plate and then heated in a microwave oven.

This is not a plate. It is small bit of American culture. Corelle became popular about 35 years ago and is still sold today.

This is not a plate. It is an example of modern science. This plate is made from Vitrelle, a substance first invented in a lab.

If you decide to do the exercise, please send me your results. I would love to read them.

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16 Ways To Stir Your Child’s Creativity

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15 ways to stir your child's creativity

Children are born with innate creativity, so it doesn’t take much to encourage that crucial trait. Just a nudge here or there is plenty.

Here are some fun ways to stimulate the creativity in your child:

1. Paint one wall of your child’s room with chalkboard paint. Remind him to make frequent use of his new canvas.

2. Teach your child your favorite craft.  Use simple projects and large tools to make the learning experience enjoyable.

3. Introduce your child to the concept of the art journal. Explain that thoughts, emotions and ideas can be explored through both pictures and words.

4. Take reading for pleasure a step further. Encourage your child to create illustrations  or clay models of scenes from his favorite books.

5. Give art and craft supplies as holiday and birthday gifts. Something about an unbroken crayon, or a brand new pad of paper,  is irresistible.

6. Find out if your local community center offers weekend art classes for kids. One of my favorite memories is of my childhood ceramic classes where I was free to experiment to my heart’s content.

7. Allow your child some occasional downtime.  Creativity requires a vacuum to thrive.

8. Encourage your child to make some of his own toys.  One summer, while staying at my grandmother’s virtually toy-free home,  I spent every morning inventing my own card games.

9. Head to the library and borrow drawing, painting and crafting books for kids. Make sure your child has the basic supplies he needs, but then, leave him alone to experiment on his own.

10. Make innovation probable. The next time your child asks you to buy something for him, consider asking…what do we already own that we can use instead?

11. Have your child help to plan his own birthday.  Allow him to  decorate the cake, use stickers to dress-up the goody bags, and design his own centerpiece.

12. Introduce your child to the world of online collaboration.  Pictures can be submitted to the Global Children’s Art Gallery and learn about online writing opportunities at Kidpub.

13. Offer your older child frequent creative challenges. Prompt him to draw a happy day, use his Legos to build a park or help with designing projects to utilize empty boxes of tissues.

14. Cooking is always an opportunity for innovation.  Consult your child on what to garnish the salad with, which vegetables to add to the soup, and fun ways to shape the bread dough.

15. If your child dislikes using a pencil or scissors, help him to enjoy drawing programs. Microsoft Paint is easy to learn and fun for  a variety of ages.

16.  Most important, remember that creativity is supposed to be fun. If you find that you are critical or dissatisfied by your child’s efforts, do both yourselves a favor, and quickly walk away.

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