6 Creative Thinking Exercises for Young Learners

Many people think that creativity is an immeasurable ephemeral concept that can be neither taught nor learned. However, E. Paul Torrance and other renowned academics tell us that with a proper instruction, anyone of us can learn to be creative. He says that traditional education extinguishes innovation as it tries to give uniform knowledge to children, but all is not lost. It is possible to integrate atypical thinking and creativity into classrooms by embracing these simple strategies.


Improve creativity by seeing it as a skill. While some people can be naturally predisposed to being creative, others can be taught to be creative. Explaining that to educators and thus changing their mind can mean a world of difference to students.

Use emotional connections.Creative thoughts are strongly connected to emotional responses. If learners are personally invested, they have a better incentive to come up with different ideas. For example, when learners were asked to develop ideas on how to improve their local communities, they had a higher response to the problems of youths, such as themselves.

Create a congenial environment. One of the reasons teaching creativity is hard is because the learners need to be comfortable enough to express their ideas. Since innovative thinking requires constant validation, only a truly supportive and friendly atmosphere can provide that.

Use common cultural artifacts.Creative thoughts are often facilitated by physical objects. Younger students often have trouble with visualization, so letting them touch and interact with real objects can enhance their problem-solving abilities.

Learn to deal with mistakes constructively. It is a well-known classroom cliché that there are no wrong answers out there. The standardized tests will gladly prove that it is not true. However, in order to create a learning environment, it is necessary to convince your students that mistakes are starting points, not something embarrassing or irrevocable.

Remember the structure. It might seem counterintuitive, but clear rules and guideline are easier to build upon to achieve something great and new than chaos. For instance, college students are more likely to be creative with their assignments if they know how many and what kind they’ll have during the semester.

Creativity is just as important as critical thinking or problem solving, so it is essential to allow young learners to have access to such a valuable skill.

Published: October 7, 2016