Six Seconds, training and
materials for emotional intelligence.
Six Seconds publishes the
Handle With Care Emotional Intelligence Calendar full of themes and
activities like this. You can Order the 1999 calendar online with Six Seconds'
Raising our Kids
Creativity in Young Children
Encouraging Creativity in Early Childhood Classrooms
Fostering Academic Creativity in Gifted Students
Humor unleashes creativity. In
a study, a group who watched TV bloopers became more inventive than a group
who was taught techniques of creativity.
"If you ask me
what I came to do in this world, I, an artist,
I will answer you: I
am here to live out loud."
- Emille Zola
Creativity and EQ
People often talk about
creativity in terms of artistic expression, and while this is an important
manifestation of creativity, it is not the whole picture. For most people,
most creativity comes from solving the zillions of problems we all
encounter every day.
- When we have conflict or no one seems to be hearing what
we're saying, it is time for some creativity.
- When we feel an urge to scream "I can't," "You
can't," or "There is NO way!" it is time for some creativity.
- When we want to help a child learn something challenging, then,
perhaps most of all, it is time for some creativity.
Ironically, when we most
need creativity, we tend to be in an emotional state where creativity is
least accessible. Fear and distress activate the limbic system at the base
of our brains. This shuts off the cerebral cortex, where creativity and
problem-solving live. Love is the antidote to fear and the wellspring of
Creativity is not so
much making something new as it is recombining the old. Creativity
requires informality because its essence is "breaking rules."
The result is that creativity is sometimes tied to strong emotions which
both give it power and make it challenging.
As we strive to make
sense of our world, there is a great deal that fits in neither words nor
logic. Creativity allows us to tap the seed of human experience and express
that ineffable blossom.
Activities to Foster
- Have a
backwards day, beginning by having dinner for breakfast.
- Use a
copier or computer to enlarge small objects and shrink big ones. Make a
- Explore how
two or more ideas can be put together. Create an ongoing practice after
dinner or in the car where you use this kind of thinking (it is called
- Ask your
child, or anyone else, open-ended questions rather than closed ones. An
open-ended question does not have a single or "right" answer; for
instance, "What was interesting in your day?" instead of
"Did you have a good day?"
- Make a
sculpture, fort, or costume by using everyday items in unusual ways. Turn
a couch on its side or bring garden furniture inside.
- Make up a
card game. You can start by changing a game you know, then change it
- Play mental
games like "what if...." These require a willingness to think
freely, so you need to practice not closing the door on ideas. Resist ever
saying, "Don't be silly!" or "That's a stupid
question." If a question seems silly, maybe it is time for a silly
answer, but don't close the door.
- Try cooking
with new and unusual spices which you've never used. Use the smells
to guide your culinary exploration.
- Get on the
internet and play a game where you follow links not based on what
information is presented, but on the first letter of the link. See what
random and amusing sites you find.
- Create a
model of an environment in which you'd like to live. Use only found
objects and natural materials.
- Make your
own "magnetic poetry" using favorite words. You can buy a
self-adhesive magnetic sheet from many sign-making shops.
- Have a tea
party or an event where each guest plays the part of a character from a
book, movie, the media, or other realm.