Nowadays, many parents are concerned that our society has turned into one big cell phone, and that their children are neglecting their creativity by clinging to their phones. To some extent this may be true, but tweens are still in a transformation stage. As long as they are getting creative stimulus from other sources, their imagination will not suffer.
If you look around, you will see that tween rooms reflect their unique styles (www.furnituretoday.com). Tweens are being targeted as a separate group, “with their own unique needs, wants and likes.” Furniture sales say they appeal to the tween style, a “huge transformation” from the past. Modern, sleek styles, with wood and metal and clean lines dominate the market.
When it comes to creative writing, preteens often feel pressured to conform. Creative Writing Prompts for Teens & Preteens (www.journalbuddies.com) offers suggestions for encouraging kids to journal, a great way to get to know themselves , reflect on their own choices, and express their individual ideas without being judged. There are many prompts, including the following from Journal Buddies:
1. What is something that you believe in strongly?
2. Are you good at keeping secrets? Why or why not?
3. Choose five objects that represent you. Why did you choose them?
4. What inspires you?
5. What accomplishment are you the most proud of?
6. How have you changed since last year?
7. Do you think our country’s political system works well?
8. How do you feel when you work with a team on a group project?
Don’t forget the creative pursuits your child may be involved in, such as dance, art, drama, and other after school activities. In addition to those activities sparking their imaginations, we should not forget the creative tech-related projects available. If you check online with www.commonsensemedia.org/learning-with-technology, you will see some great ideas. These are some ideas they suggest doing with your kid.
1. Find an age-appropriate social media network like YourSphere or Kidzworld.
2. Make a digital journal scrapbook, using Sprappy or Wonderful Days, to share your kid’s experiences.
3. Create a slideshow in PhotoPeach or Animoto of a subject he or she loves.
4. VideoEdit videos using VideoFX Live or Magisto.
5. Use a sandbox program like Algodoo or Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet for Video Games.
6. Compose original music with GarageBand or Seline HD.
Check out Scholastic (www.scholastic.com/parents) for advice on how to foster creativity, Creative Development in Adolescents by Michelle Anthony, PhD. Here we learn that between ages 11 and 13, there are surges in cognition that now help students with reason, logic, and abstract symbols.
1. Make learning “challenging…but easy enough to avoid total frustration.
2. Encourage experimentation.
3. Foster “divergent thinking.
4. Emphasize mistakes lead to new discoveries.
5. Encourage observance of experiences.
6. Help child become expert in an interest.
7. Break convention.
8. Ban the buts and other hesitations.
9. Provide open-ended materials and open-ended questions.
10. Provide quiet space.
Get started! It’s never too late to be creative! Southern California is surrounded by creative film-making, wonderful museums, and performances.