From the Blog
Make a Revolving Colored Pencil Caddy with Lift-out Cups
I love using colored pencils, but after rummaging through boxes looking for a certain color, having cardboard holders flop over, and grabbing at pencils steamrolling off my table, I knew there had to be a better way.
Quick and Easy
So in less time than it took me to locate sky blue, I made a revolving caddy to organize my colored pencils. Read on to learn how I made it and to discover why this one might be just the right thing for you as well.
Coloring Books for Kids and Adults: How They Can Support Creativity
Coloring books are all over the news these days, including my own Creative Cats and Owls, which I illustrated for Dover Publications’ imprint, Creative Haven. The experience of relaxation and stress reduction while coloring is confirmed by what so many colorists express and in the opinion of many professionals. But how does coloring relate to the creative process?
Is Coloring Creative?
Educators often frown upon coloring books for kids as thwarting creative development (1). And lately there have been blog posts asserting the limitations of coloring books for adults (2). I believe coloring books have very much to offer. Here are my thoughts:
- The activity of coloring is calming and promotes focused thought. While this benefit is not a creative thought process per se, focus is essential for bringing ideas to fruition. A child may spout imaginative ideas, but in order to put an idea into expression through an art form, invention, story, or song, requires a calm focus to see it through. When kids can turn ideas into an accomplishment, their confidence soars, and they’re more likely to become involved in additional creative activities.
- The activity of coloring helps develop fine motor skills. Excellent motor skills support hands-on creative endeavors.
- Coloring in a coloring book is not creating fully “original art,” but it can be a way to appreciate art, or advance into the arts. Viewing paintings in an art museum is not the same experience as actually painting, but masterful artworks provide insight and inspiration for painting. A reviewer of Creative Cats Coloring Book said it this way:
“I am using it [Creative Cats] for rewards in my elementary classroom. Coloring encourages decision-making, neatness, pride in work, and attention to detail. I am an ARTIST today because my parents encouraged me to color. I don't think of it as “play” because it takes skill and creativity. The mind remembers shapes and lines, so carried into the future, coloring creates artists.”
– Faith Page, Amazon Review, July 26, 2015
“I’m ready for a change”
How would you take a plain, familiar toy, such as a teddy bear, and make it more fun? With "Invent-a-Toy," a lesson plan from taken from Creative Genius, students invent new toys by brainstorming ways to improve existing toys.
For example, to create a new and different version of an ordinary teddy bear, the upgraded toy could change color by touch, sing and dance, have secret compartments, or become a fully-functioning built-in clock. It could have the capability of transforming into a giant sleeping bag or a bicycle seat, become part of a set of charms for a bracelet, or hold a paintbrush that can paint real pictures.
Dream it, plan it, and sketch it. Who knows? Maybe someday your child's ideas will appear on the shelves of a popular toy store! This stand-alone 12 page lesson plan is available on our Teachers Pay Teachers store.
iPhone and iPod Touch App
Creative Genius On-the-Go! Engage Your Children in Imaginative Learning and Problem Solving Activities
Here's only a sampling of the 150 activities you get in Creative Genius On-the-Go!
Have you ever wanted a fun enrichment activity right at your fingertips when your child says, "Play with me!”? Creative Genius On-the-Go! is an amazing creative thinking tool for parents to engage children with 150 challenges, diversions, and scenarios that can be played anytime, anywhere. And because it's based on sound learning principles, Creatve Genius On-the-Go! is great for the classroom and homeschool, too.
Creativity is often thought to be a special gift. Now we understand that creative thinking is a set of skills to learn and apply. Teaching creative thinking to children helps them think for themselves and to be independent learners and achievers throughout their lives.
The App Features 3 Collections:
- 50 What Ifs? - Scenarios
- 50 Imagine That! - Challenges
- 50 Wack-tivities - Diversions
These fun activities display as short, written prompts. Children can play independently, with siblings or friends, and, of course, parents!