Monday, May 3, 2010

Children's Creativity and Play

As you have probably worked out by now, I am a great believer in we humans involving ourselves in creativity and play. Here's an interesting TED video where designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't). (The video is almost 28 minutes long, so you might want to bookmark it and watch it later.)

Tim's talking about design, but I think the principles are the same for learning, for teaching and for parenting. If we can keep playfulness at the core of what we do, if we can look for ways to incorporate play and fun into lessons and activities, I believe we will encourage creative thinking. Another huge benefit is that if we enjoy what we do, we are more likely not only to remember it, but to persevere with it.

Here are some web places I like where your kids (and you!) can create and play:

At Grabba Beast you can view other peoples' beasts before choosing body parts to create your own. (Seems to be gone.)

Make a futuristic sculpture inspired by plants at ArtisanCam, or splash some paint about.

Build your own Mr Picassohead.

I've written about Bomomo before. It makes my scribbles look good and that is sheer magic! Choose one of the icons at the bottom of the screen, then click or drag on the screen and see what happens.

Another favourite online picture generator I told you about is Mutapic. Use the Book Chook method if you're not sure what to do: click little icon thingies, click things in the boxes at left, then hit the big green generate button. I LOVE this site.

Harmony is an interesting picture generator. Change styles in the dropdown menu box at the top of the page, and change colours in the nearby square.


  1. Book Chook03 May, 2010

    Thanks Chris!

  2. ktenkely06 May, 2010

    Tim Brown's TED talk is hands down one of my favorites. There is so much creativity that happens during play. I try to encourage play as much as possible in my classroom.

  3. Book Chook06 May, 2010

    I would LOVE to be a student in your classroom!


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