By contributing writer Colleen
Creativity and invention are crucial to the successful growth of a culture, but are you taking time to encourage creativity and invention at home?I have several very creative children in my homeschool, and I know that I’m not doing as great a job as I’d like.
I want to include more time for invention and open-ended explorations, but I get caught up in the day-to-day of our homeschool and family. I forget how important it is to let kids dream and discover. It’s important to encourage them to be the inventor and surround them with things that foster creativity.
One way to do this is to create an invention box for your kids to tinker with. Once it’s pulled together, give them plenty of open-ended time to explore its contents and get creative.
How to Put Together an Invention Box
Grab a box or a container with a snap-on lid, or use an empty drawer in the kitchen or craft area. Fill it with different things based on your kids’ ages and abilities.
Some ideas for young children include:
- wood scraps
- metal pieces
- other miscellaneous craft supplies
Ideas for Older Children:
- old electronics
- soldering equipment
If your children have trouble coming up with ideas for getting themselves started, because maybe this type of open-ended play is new to them, then create quick prompts on index cards to encourage them. But, leave the directions to a minimum. Give them just enough to get started, and then, once they have the hang of it, stop leaving the cards out.
Open-ended opportunities like your kids will get with an invention box will help foster creativity and flexibility in thinking. It will make them more critical thinkers, and it will help them develop the confidence to look at things in new ways.
For additional value and fun, give them a place to showcase their work and set aside time for an inventor’s convention where they can share their creations with family and friends.
What are some ways you can implement this idea into your homeschool? And what other suggestions for materials do you have to share?