to Encourage Creativity in Your Kids
Dream, Create, Giggle
article was seen in newspapers across the country)
Laguna Beach, California (June 27, 2003) All
children have some type of inner gift. Whether it is drawing, writing,
making people laugh, or some thing else, child psychologists say
it is the parents' job to nurture that talent as soon as it is recognized.
encouraged to do something they like, and praised when they do it
well helps with self esteem, which is one of the building blocks
of success later in life," says Kristi Stoll, co-owner of PlanetGiggle,
an online company with resources that encourage kids to find their
inner gifts and talents. Stoll and business partner, Gidget Clayton,
have made it their missions in life to encourage others to follow
their dreams. Both left the corporate world after deciding to do
dream, for a long time, has been to create a world of people who
know that life is meant to be fun and full of laughter," says
Stoll. "Last summer, Gidget and I packed up all our stuff and
took an RV across the country seeking out kids with inspirational
stories everyone should hear. We're in the process of writing a
book called "KidVision," and have posted portions of the
stories online already, along with resources we have found for helping
other kids achieve their goals."
credits her parents with helping her achieve her dream. "They
taught me I could do anything I wanted to do and that nothing stood
in my way," says Stoll. To help other parents lead their children
down paths that will help them develop their inner gifts, Stoll
and Clayton have come up with some thought provoking, creativity
building activities they can try.
Host an Art Contest Party
your child enjoys coloring or drawing, you may want to host an art
contest party. Gather all the pens, pencils, crayons, markers, paint
and paper you can find in the house, or go out and buy supplies,
such as PlanetGiggle's Artist Dream Box. It includes an assortment
of acrylic paints, brushes, canvasses, pencils, drawing paper and
you have your supplies on hand, come up with a theme. Have the kids
design a piece of artwork that fits that theme, using any format
they choose. To make the contest enjoyable for all the participants,
make sure each drawing receives a prize, such as most abstract work,
most lifelike work, or most colorful piece of artwork.
encourage your kids to explore the world around them, parents can
initiate a treasure hunt. "Make it exciting for them,"
says Clayton. "Send them outside in search of a particular
kind of leaf, a pine cone, lady bug or butterfly. They'll have just
as much fun finding all those things as they will studying them
when they get back." On a rainy day, the game can be played
inside. Stoll says you can send the kids in search of socks, paper
clips, or a particular book, but don't feel limited to just those
kinds of things. Be creative.
Host a Story Writing Party
your child enjoys writing, encourage them to invite friends over,
and have a story writing party. Pass out blank books to each person
with as many pages as you have people. Set a timer for ten minutes
and have the kids start writing. After ten minutes, have them pass
the book to the person sitting to their right, and reset the timer
for another ten minutes. Keep doing it until everyone at the party
has had a chance to write a page in each of the books; then hand
them back to the person who started the story and let them see what
their idea evolved into.
have to play off each other, which naturally encourages creativity,"
says Clayton. Parents can make the experience even more enjoyable
by providing their kids with fancy paper and writing instruments,
which they can find for purchase on PlanetGiggle's Web site.
Perspective - How Do You View the World Differently Than Others?
open your kids' eyes to the differing views around them, have them
play interviewer for the day. For this game, have them write down
their answers the following questions, then go out ask the same
questions of five other people:
is your dream? What is your biggest fear? Name two people you admire
most and why. Name two places outside the United States where you
would most like to visit and why. Name three famous people -- living
or dead -- you would want to meet and why. Do you like your school?
Why or why not?
they have interviewed all five people, look over all of the answers,
and talk about how they differ from one another and from yours.
For another way to explore the concept of differing perspectives,
log onto www.planetgiggle.com/illusion/htm and have your child try
out the ten optical illusions posted online, then get five friends
to tell them what they see.
Community Service Day
kids who always seem to be stepping in to help others, seek out
a community project that will be of benefit to your neighbors. "A
good way to get the ball started is to call all the kids in your
neighborhood and invite them over for a planning party," says
are good one of the kids who comes to the party will know of an
elderly neighbor who needs help painting their house, or of a vacant
lot that needs sprucing up. Once you come up with a project, pick
a date everyone agrees upon, then come up with up a list of everything
you'll need to get the job done. Have the participants pledge to
bring at least one of the supplies so expenses won't get too out
the project is done, write up a story about your experience and
submit it to your local newspaper. You can also submit it to PlanetGiggle.com.
Have a Giggle Party
remember, laughter is the best medicine, so when people are feeling
down, hold an impromptu party where the guest of honor is laughter.
Stoll says you can invite as many people as you want, and ask each
of them to bring along something they think is funny. "Once
everyone has arrived," she says, "have them sit in a circle
so they can see each other, and then start by having the host stand
up and make the silliest face they can think of. Continue around
the circle until all of the guests have also had a turn, then have
everyone show off the funny thing they brought to the party."
the party, hand out smiley face stickers, sit down on a whoppie
cushion, or spray silly string into the air, all items available
in the PlanetGiggle Giggle box, which you can buy online. "Do
whatever it takes to set the mood. Happiness is what makes life
so fun," says Stoll.
can log on to www.planetgiggle.com or call 310-864-5806 for more
creative ideas and kits for projects, laughter, creativity, and