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Brainstorming: A Climate for Creative Growth

Try this the next time you have a rainy day and your child or classroom has free time. You can turn a rainy day into an amazing brainstorm!

Brainstorming is a technique for generating a free-flow of ideas to solve a problem within a short period of time. Brainstorming can be practiced by individuals or by a guided group of two or more.

Groups need a facilitator, whose role is to encourage participation, to embrace and record each idea, and to remind participants to defer judgment, however wild an idea may seem. 

Although brainstorming in a group may not always produce the best ideas, the sessions offer other valuable benefits. They boost confidence, warm up creative muscles, improve classroom spirit, and create a trusting social climate. Creative thought flourishes in positive psychological environments.

Start by first posing a problem to solve, such as imaginative ways to decorate a cake or inventing a new game to play with a ball. Have the participants offer problem suggestions as well. If you have some ideas for kid-friendly problems to solve, share them in the comments below.

As the facilitator, ask your children to name any idea that pops into their heads. In a group, kids may use others’ ideas to spark more ideas. Here are some brainstorming guidelines:

Brainstorming: Taking Ideas by Storm

Break Any Rules Except These

  • No value judgments of anyone’s ideas  The weirdest, silliest, or stupidest idea might be the seed of something great.
  • Welcome wacky ideas  The more ridiculous the idea, the better! Ideas that are way out of the box have a life of their own.
  • No interrupting  When someone is speaking, their thoughts deserve respectful consideration and should be heard.
  • No right or wrong answers  All answers are possibilities, including your own. Evaluate ideas later, but not during brainstorming.
  • No laughing at anyone’s ideas  Unless the idea is meant to be humorous! Laugh with others, but not at others.
  • Lighten up and have fun  Humor itself grows out of the creative process and gets our creative juices flowing.

Download our Free mini-poster, “Classroom Rules for Brainstorming,” on our Freebies page.

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