Friday, February 2, 2018

Creative Prompt for Kids - Start with a Creature

by Susan Stephenson,

In today’s prompt, we start with the idea of a creature. These prompts will hopefully spark some kind of creativity in your kids. The choice of activity is up to them. I have made suggestions within prompts but the whole idea is to start the creative process off. A complete change of direction is not just okay, it’s encouraged! Instead of telling our kids WHAT to create, I prefer to stand back and be astonished by the breadth and power of their creative abilities.

* What IS a creature?

* If you were any kind of creature, what creature would you be? Why?

* Choose your favourite imaginary creature. Create a puppet about it. Here’s an ABC Splash video that shows you how to make a simple sock puppet.

* Design an avatar for yourself that is a creature. If you’re stuck for ideas, you could create one at Build your Wild Self or The Underland Chronicles.

* Get together with two other friends. Fold a paper in three, and mark where each person should start and finish their part of a creature. Now fold two parts under and give the paper to the first person to draw the creature’s head. When the first person is done, they should fold the head under and give the paper to the second person so they can draw the body and top limbs. Repeat the folding under part. The third person draws the bottom limbs and tail. Undo the paper to see what you have created.

* Create your own strange creature. What is its name? What kind of habitat will it live in? What does it eat? How does it reproduce? Is it a predator and/or prey for something else? What will you use to create this creature?

* What if your teacher turned into a really weird creature? What sort of creature would it be? How would you feel? What would happen next? How could you solve this problem?

* Invent a creature that is made entirely from geometric shapes, or items from nature.

* Close your eyes and imagine you are walking through a landscape. Picture the plants, the creatures and the sky, listen to the sounds around you and breathe in the smells. Suddenly, you hear a loud noise and look up. It’s a creature you have never seen before. Go on with the story.

* People long ago invented all sorts of creatures they thought might be real and made up legends about them. Examples are dragons, centaurs, unicorns and basilisks. Research imaginary or mythical creatures, and chose one you would like to have for a pet. Write a letter to your parents, persuading them to get you for one for your next birthday.

* Invent the scariest creature you can. Dress up as this creature and make a movie about it.

* Not all creatures are scary. What could you use to create a really cute creature? You could challenge yourself to use only paint, or crayon and paint, or glue and cardboard, or feathers and fabric. You could even use mud, the way Ann James did in I'm a Dirty Dinosaur. Or experiment with things you find in nature.

*Still stuck for ideas?  Try making a digital creature by combining clipart, the way I did at PicMonkey with the top image. You can find some tips for using PicMonkey to create images here. You could also use an iPad app like Sago Mini Monsters, or Miximal, or assemble different shapes to make a creature in Assembly app, the way I did in the image below.

* You could put together  an interesting creature with everyday objects from your home or classroom. Take a photo of your creation and hold a creature photo competition with your friends.

* What if you drank something and noticed you were starting to transform into a creature? How would you feel? Describe the transformation and list the problems you might have.

* Books like Mechanica and Aquatica (my reviews) are about creatures that seem part machine, part life-form. Can you create something that looks like that, perhaps from bits and pieces like nuts, bolts, screws, and electrical components?

You might also like to read Creative Prompt for Kids - Start with an Animal or check out all the creative prompts I’ve published so far, embedded below.

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