Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

6 ways to encourage creativity in kids:

Information seems to give us the answers, but what helps young minds grow are the right questions.
By Morris Gleitzman
Date: May 05 2015
Editor Rating:
In a fast ever-changing world, fast internet helps our kids stay connected and learning and contributing. The world is full of useful facts. It’s also full of things that are even more useful. They’re called stories. 
Some stories are made up. Some stories are true. They all involve individuals trying to solve a problem. To solve problems we need to better understand ourselves, the world and the problem; to be brave, clever and insightful. 
As we share our stories, we can’t help but put ourselves in each other’s shoes. And so we experience something a million times more useful than facts. Empathy. 
Whatever young people want to achieve, they’ll do it better if they’re able to empathise with what’s happening inside other people. It’ll help them ask the right questions. Be part of a world-wide web of understanding. 
The three most important questions online are:
  • Who is telling me this story? 
  • Why are they telling me this story? 
  • What does this story really mean? 
Here are my top reading and writing tips for parents and kids. 
1. Stories
  • Facts are useful and information is very fine, but to get kids thinking, feeling and imagining, you can’t beat a good story. 
2. Imagination
  • Journeys without tickets, adventures without medical bills, living six lives at once without needing extra shoes. Everything is possible in our imagination. Reading and writing are the passports that take us there. 
3. Empathy
  • Once readers care what’s happening inside a character, they’ll follow that character to the end of the story, blissfully unaware of the language skills they’re picking up along the way. 
4. Write
  • Everyone can write a story. You need two things. A character (you) facing a problem (the thing you’d most hate to happen to you today). Or the thing that has just happened … 
5. Connect
  • That’s why we read and write, to connect with our world and each other. Our imaginations have always been high speed and broadband. Now at last our communications technology is catching up. 
6. Enquire
  • With high-speed internet, the whole world is a click away. Get the most from it. Ask questions. Who is telling me this story? Why are they telling me this story? What does this story really mean? 

* * *

Morris Gleitzman is working with nbn, to offer advice to parents and kids on navigating the online world. He also recently was a judge on the nbn Shoot for the Stars competition.

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