Guide A Spark of Creativity: Simple Crafts To Fire Up Your Creative Side

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That question -- or a variation on it -- is part of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which many school districts nationwide have used for the last 45 years to measure kids' originality and imagination. After consistently rising for decades, American kids' scores began a steady decline in If you think that's no big deal, consider this: That doesn't mean you should worry if your child isn't building elaborate Lego cities or can't draw anything more advanced than stick figures.

Creativity isn't just about being an architect or an artist; it's about how you use your mind. From the Stone Age innovator who took two flints and sparked fire to the inventors who studied sand and conceived the silicon chip, out-of-the-box thinking has transformed the world we live in. And it's likely to be even more important in the coming decades, as we try to solve a host of complex problems: In a country that has traditionally placed a premium on ingenuity, why are our kids falling behind? Many experts believe that our educational system bears a big share of the blame. The No Child Left Behind Act of , which mandates that schools make annual progress toward bringing all students up to the "proficient" level on state tests or be subject to government sanctions, has altered the fundamental learning dynamic.

In many school systems, the need to "teach to the test" has led to the elimination of art classes, electives, foreign language and science programs, and even recess, depriving kids of numerous creative outlets. This trend isn't only influencing tweens and teens. The intense pressure to raise standardized test scores in reading and math has filtered down to kindergarten and preschool , where kids have traditionally been able to indulge their natural need to learn through play.

But instruction geared toward getting the right answer undermines creativity and spontaneity," says Edward Miller, executive director of the Alliance for Childhood, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization in New York City. And it's not only schools that are stifling our kids. We're part of the problem too. Our need to schedule activities -- sports leagues, music instruction, dance classes, academic-enrichment courses -- leaves less time for kids to do, well, nothing.

Pick a Balanced Preschool

Too often, rather than pushing children to entertain themselves by breaking out some action figures or painting, we let them spend their precious free moments watching TV or playing on the computer. Ideally, you should encourage your kid to pretend and explore on his own without distractions for at least 30 minutes every day. But what can you do to get him to play along?

These steps will help unlock his creative side.

2. The Gap

Look for a program that provides a mix of play and academics, suggests Ilene Val-Essen, Ph. Tim Brown explains the key theories behind why companies like Google and Pixar invest so much time effort and money into making playful atmospheres for their people to work in. Where play is serious and productive - but still very much in the spirit of playtime. He speaks about design thinking and innovation all around the world, and is so revered that he participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Alex Gray is an artist best known for paintings that showcase the subtleties of human anatomy in the context of cosmic, biological and technological evolution.

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His excellent Ted Talk is pretty deep, perhaps the most high-brow on this list but probably the most inspiring for it. He talks about how a worldly consciousness can become something much bigger if you create it with your very soul. Watch a couple of videos, and I defy you not to feel inspired into making something awesome. Remember, creativity is both a gift and a force that has its own needs… one of them is to be celebrated. Creative Boom celebrates, inspires and supports the creative community.

Launched in , we love to explore the very best creativity and offer tips, resources and advice to help you succeed. Created by Boomerang PR. They should help you pimp your processes, fight apathy and inspire you to do even more with what you have… 1. Registered in England and Wales For me, ironing is a superb way to switch off the mind.

1. Everything is a Remix

Stop those annoying anxieties whirring and allow me to make sense of things without really thinking. An idea pops into my head, I become unstuck and rush to my desk to begin work again. Designer Rebecca Iriss agrees: Remember what's outside of work.

10 super inspiring videos on being creative and making the most of it

The views are pretty helpful at helping me get my spark back! A walk in the fresh air and sunshine will release those wonderful endorphins, which boost happiness, and studies have shown that moving your body can even alleviate symptoms of depression. What's more, physical activity outdoors and "exposure to nature" are known to have positive effects on your mental health.

Take that creative block! Graphic designer Louise Ormerod agrees: Surround yourself with others and feel their energy. Always gets my creative spark back when I see and surround myself with great work.

Do anything but try to think of ideas. Sometimes, creative block can be a sign that you need a break. Rest is essential if you're going to be a successful freelancer. For this reason, my accountant always says that as soon as I return from holiday, I should book another.

Thrive in 2025: Inspire Creativity

This means I have something to look forward to. But it also means I don't forget to schedule much-needed time off. If you've been struggling lately, have a rest day. Switch off the phone.

Thrive in Inspire Creativity

Turn on your out-of-office. A day off won't do any harm. And don't forget to book your next holiday, if you haven't already! Visiting new places, exploring cities for the first time and discovering parts of the world from a new perspective — travel can all fire up the imagination like nothing else. New impressions can be great sparks," agrees Jakob , a photographer based in Raleigh, NC. Not sure where to go next? Our city guides are a good starting point. We've got lots of suggestions for weekend getaways and they don't have to be outside the UK where the majority of you live.

  • Try another creative activity.
  • Keep going.
  • ?
  • A Downward Trend!

Meeting new people, enjoying fresh experiences — it all helps to unblock your mind and spark creativity again. Whether a 10km run at your local park, a one-mile swim in the Lake District or a cycle ride around Snowdonia, set yourself the ultimate fitness challenge to give yourself a reason to throw your sports kit on and get out there to train. Exercise isn't just good for the soul endorphin release, stress-busting, weight control, confidence-building, etc.

You didn't go freelance to sit at your desk every day, following the usual routine. You wanted more freedom and excitement. You wanted to be in control of your own destiny.