Creativity is a valuable asset in today's world, but how do we cultivate it and make it a part of our daily lives and that of our students? While there's no single formula for unlocking our imagination, a wealth of scientific research has shed light on the most effective strategies for enhancing creativity.
To help you on your journey, we've scoured the web and rounded up the best articles that share the latest and most scientifically supported strategies for increasing creativity. Enjoy!
Boosting Creativity with a Happy Brain
A study found heightened activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) just before people solved problems with insight a.k.a. creative problem solving. A good mood increases creativity by making the ACC more sensitive to unique thoughts, while a lousy mood limits the ACC's ability to detect them.
To increase happiness and creativity, the study recommends practising gratitude, mindfulness, exercise, and getting a good night's sleep. These activities focus the brain on the positive, provide calm focus, lower stress, increase energy levels, and give the brain time to connect ideas.
Classroom Tip: Prepare a fun warm-up activity to lighten up the mood of your classroom before starting a class which requires problem solving or creative thought.
Expand Your Knowledge for Fresh Ideas
According to research, expanding your knowledge by constantly learning about unfamiliar topics promotes the development of fresh concepts and imaginative thinking. Although the connection between your learning and future challenges may take time to become apparent, collecting diverse pieces of information can lead to interesting interconnections that can drive creativity.
Classroom Tip: Periodically introduce unconventional topics outside of lesson plans or bring different experts into your classroom to talk about their experiences in interesting industries.
Look Far and Wide to Spark Creativity
Researchers have discovered that psychological distance, or "anything we do not experience as occurring now, here, and to ourselves" can help to shape our creativity. They have argue that distant things are represented in our minds more abstractly, while near things seem more concrete. The more abstract the idea/thing becomes, the higher the chance we can contemplate more unique thoughts about them (increase in creative thinking).
Even minimal cues of psychological distance, such as geographical location, can make us more creative. This research suggests that thinking about the distant future, communicating with people who are dissimilar to us, considering unlikely alternatives to reality and travelling to faraway places can all increase our creativity.
Classroom Tip: A simple way to start is to encourage your students to participate in a role-playing exercise. Ask them to imagine themselves in a different situation, as a different person or in a different time and think about how they would respond.
Do Nothing (Start by Putting Down Your Digital Devices)
A recent study by psychologists from the University of Tübingen in Germany found that losing oneself in one's thoughts and allowing the mind to wander is highly gratifying. The study showed that participants improved their problem-solving skills, creativity, imagination, and self-worth.
Despite the benefits, most people avoid spending time with their thoughts and instead choose distractions. The study's lead author believes this is partly due to smartphones and our busy lives, and many people need to appreciate the value of contemplation.
Classroom Tip: Bring your class out for a short "silent" walk after presenting them a creative task or problem. Encourage them to let their minds wonder.
By utilizing the best scientifically supported strategies, anyone can unlock their full creative potential and experience the endless benefits that come with it. Remember that creativity is not just about producing great works of art or innovative solutions. It's about embracing life with a curious and imaginative spirit, and living it to the fullest. So why not try out some of these strategies today and unleash the creative genius within your classroom?
Our K-3 Creative Activity Printable Bundle
Boost your lesson plans with our innovative collection of printable activities for the year. "Over 100 projects with more than 400 printable sheets" to spark imagination and foster creativity in your classroom for the whole year.
PBL and Genius Hour Supplement Printable Bundle (K-3) - 2023 Edition
This creative activity bundle is jam-packed with over 100 projects with more than 400 printable activity sheets for 6-9 year olds. With a focus on creativity and hands-on learning, this bundle is perfect for keeping little learners engaged, designing and creating for an entire year.
An excellent resource for teachers, subs, parents and caregivers looking for fun and creative activities to keep kids busy and learning. It's perfect for use in the classroom, at home or on the go. With so many activities to choose from, kids will never be bored!
- DIGITAL ONLY PRODUCT i.e. PDF format.
- Over 100 projects with more than 400 printable sheets.
- Printable sheets mainly black & white.
- Includes links to supporting online resources.
- File size: 166.5 MB / 518 pages.
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