Why is it important to develop a child’s creativity? 


Why is it important to develop a child’s creative thinking skills? 

Because creative thinking is probably the most important skill they will ever learn!
Developing creative thinking is about developing self esteem and self confidence. It is about developing a love of learning. Of having the means to deal with the confusion, risks and failures that are part of everyday life. The confidence to lead and to be different from the crowd.

I believe that all children are creative by nature but, unfortunately, many lose their creativity before reaching adulthood. In our education and social system where examination success and conformity reigns supreme, creativity seems to have been forgotten.

Creative thinking is vital in all areas of life. It is a skill which will give your children the edge over others in their chosen career enabling them to be the person who initiates new procedures rather than one of the majority who follow already established routines. It opens the door to new opportunities and new inventions.

It also makes a person interesting! Ensures they are never bored ! Someone who is popular socially and is capable of meaningful and long lasting relationships. 

So how do we recognise a creative thinker
A creative thinker is able to think out of the box. They are curious and questioning and not afraid of making crazy suggestions knowing that there may be many possible answers. They make mistakes and learn from these mistakes being happy to try and try again. Creative thinkers don’t feel guilty about daydreaming knowing that often this is when the best ideas are born and when they realise these new ideas they will push them to their limits. They are optimistic, have boundless energy and, despite accomplishing a great deal, still have free time to enjoy their family and hobbies. Last, but not least. They are never bored!

My  Free ‘ Jumble Fun’ learning programme aims at developing creative thinking by: 

Asking Open ended questions

The stories include open ended questions. You are encouraged to ask questions which require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. “What do you think we should use to make …?” “what would happen if …?” “What couid we change…..?

Making choices

The programme encourages children to make their own choices. To make decisions and try them out. If their choices fail to achieve the desired result they are encouraged to try again.  From this they learn to view making mistakes as a new beginning and not as a failure or the end of a 

Story telling and dramatic play

There are opportunities for children to make their own ‘Jumbles’ and to weave stories around them. 

Inventing

The ‘Jumble’ characters enjoy inventing things from well, …… jumble! In other words, from ordinary, everyday household items and objects they can collect in their local environment. Using the characters as inspiration and role models, children will become collectors and inventors, viewing ordinary objects as blank canvasses on which to stamp their own individuality

Fun ! 

The JUMBLES are fun and they encourage your child to have fun being creative and being active rather than passive.  

Enjoy

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Floating Eggs

What? Why? How? 

Children need to e challenged not spoon-fed with facts! 

They need to question. To predict. To investigate. This is the first of a series of challenges for children. They are suitable for children from about four years upwards.  Children learn by ‘doing’ and all the challenges are simple enough for them to perform themselves with adult supervision. 

This first challenge is all about floating and density. 

The first video shows the challenge. 

The second video repeats the investigation and then answers the questions. 

My suggestion is that you watch the first video then perform the challenge asking the questions 

Later the second video giving the solutions can be watched.

 We’re all off on a snail hunt! 

 

We’re all off on a Snail Hunt ….. try putting it to the music of  ‘We’re all off to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow ….. ‘ 

It goes quite well!!! 

But, of course a snail hunt is no fun if you are not likely to find snails! 

The idea of this blog is that you choose to hunt something that you KNOW you are likely to find plus you rule out animals (and plants) that are likely to cause actual harm. That will rule out lions, tigers, rattlesnakes, poisonous jellyfish, cacti and unfriendly dogs.  Involve your children in the initial search as this will make them much more enthusiastic. Look up habitats and methods of collection just in case you do decide to take a creature home but I hope you won’t. 

So what are we left with


This depends on where you are and the time of the year so, yes you will need to do a little research 

In Europe in the spring we could be looking at :

Well yes..definitely bees and they are very interesting to observe … NOT collect obviously! Children will ask lots of questions. Try to resist spoonfeeding them the answer. Instead say, ‘What do you think? Why is that?’ Then if necessary give hints … why are they visiting the flowers? What can you see on their legs? Why are they buzzing? Why are they so brightly striped? 

In addition to bees there may be Caterpillars, butterflies, frogspawn, spring flowers, sprouting buds, blossom, lizards, birds nests, badgers, young animals like lambs and calves and ducklings.   Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Badgers, Deer. 

It doesn’t have to be something you can collect but yes, I  know children love to collect.!  But they can always take home something to remind them of an animal. Something to make a model animal from. 


Obviously from the conservation aspect there are definitely some things you must not collect or interfere with like birds nests or eggs.  If you do capture a live animal, like a Caterpillar or lizard or spider then it is very important that you only do this for a minimum observation time and return it to its habitat. If you take magnifying giasses and a sketch pad, tablet or camera then there should be no need to remove the animal at all as an observation can be done on the spot. 

So,what should you be looking at?  

Obviously features that make it an insect, reptile, amphibian, bird or mammal etc.

It’s colour . It’s shape. 

How does it move? What does it eat? How does it catch its prey? Get kids to guess what enemies it may have and how it manages to avoid these enemies. 

Is it camouflaged?  Does it have a shell, or prickles? Why? 

 Where does it live? Why does it live there? Is it more active during the night of day? How do you know? 

It will make a pleasant change for you to be asking the questions! 


So now the things you can take home: 

Budding twigs are good to collect …just one is necessary from each tree or bush.  If you take them home and place them in water it is possible to observe the changes from day to day. How the bud opens to reveal a flower or a leaf.

​Sprigs of blossom or a single flower can be taken home and used as inspiration for a model or painting. Flowers can also be pressed as can Leaves. It’s fun to make a collection of leaves mounted on cards. 

Leaves are good to take rubbings of.  They can also be  pressed into clay or plasticine to make a mould. If plaster of Paris is then used to fill the cavity you end up with some lovely leaf casts which can then be painted. 


Even spotting different colours of plants can be fun. Or, for older children, different shades of the same colour.. collecting lots of different colours of green for example. Once home you could try mixing paint to create these different shades. 

We tend not to notice the barks of trees and yet there are so many different patterns. Take chunky crayons and plain white paper with you and see how many different ones you can collect as bark rubbings. 


Fungi spotting is interesting but needs to be done with care as many are very poisonous. The rule is don’t touch, just draw or take a photograph. 

If you are near the sea then there are no end of opportunities. Shells, fish, pebbles, seaweed. Footprints of birds and animals in the wet sand. 

 Pebble collections are fun and larger ones can be painted to make great paper weights.  

Again please be sensitive to conservation and to the animal’s  needs. Collect empty shells and, although sea urchins are beautiful it is cruel to remove live ones as they will die plus they will stink the place out by the time you get home which serves you right but doesn’t help the poor creature. 

So, have fun in the great outdoors! 

Keppel Centre for Art Education 

The National Kitchen Restaurant

Yesterday following a delicious meal in the exquisite  ‘National Kitchen’ restaurant in the Singapore National Gallery we stumbled on a really fun activity area called ‘Who’s in the Wood’. I’m not sure who enjoyed it most. Our two year old granddaughter or the adults in the party! 


Click here to see more:  ​​​​Who’s in the Woods?

​When we were able to tear ourselves away from ‘We were in for another amazing discovery. The ‘Keppel Centre for Art Education’ 
On the first level of the Gallery, this imaginative Centre for children is made up of four areas. The Art Playscape, Art Corridor, Museum and Project Gallery. The activities and resources encourage children to think creatively, to problem solve and to communicate.  In other words, everything that ‘The Jumbles’ believe in. 

This is such a wonderful learning resource for residents in Singapore but a visit to the National Gallery including the Keppel Centre (and a meal in the’National Kitchen’ ) is also something I would rate as a ‘must’ for families visiting the country. 

For more information and amazing photographs, click on the link below. 

      Keppel Centre

Flower Power

 

Photo-20160205093448820.jpg

Play dough, bought or homemade, is a great creative medium. Modelling with the dough also strengthens little muscles thus improving fine motor skills. 


Introduce different skills like: 

  • Kneading
  • Squeezing
  • Rolling a long sausage on the table first with one hand and then both 
  • Rolling into a ball between the palms of both hands.
  • Breaking the play dough-pulling it apart using a tripod grip. 
  • Squashing balls on the table with the thumb and then each finger in turn. 
  • Building a tower or balls starting with the largest at the bottom. 

I drew patterns and pictures in indelible marker on clear plastic to encourage my kids to use different skills to make different shapes with the playdough. (See above) 

Follow the link below to see Maisie Jumble , inspired by the fibreglass sculptures by Ana Tzaievi , making her own from play dough.

Video link below: 

        FLOWER POWER

Make a Jumble Tuft Toy – The Sunday Challenge

Have you watched our Christmas Movie ?   No?  Then click on the link below: 

    THE JUMBLES CHRISTMAS MOVIE
It features Lizzie Witch, Jumbles the cat and these cute little Jumble Tuft toys. The JUMBLE TUFTS are really easy  and fun to make.  Even very young children will be able to help. 

Once made they can be used as toys , puppets or as  decorations for backpacks.  If a magnet is sewn into the hat or foot they become even more versatile. Why not make some as presents ?  Children will love them especially when they have watched the Christmas movie. 

          Link to video instructions

Above is the link to the video instruction or you can follow the pictures below: 


 

  1. What you need


2.  Cut a piece from the leg of a pair of tights big enough to make the Jumble Tuft body plus Tufty ears. 



3.  Stuff the centre with cotton wool or stuffing from a pillow. Secure each side of the stuffing with rubber bands. 



4.  Make sure you have left some of the stuffing showing to make the Tufty ears. 



5.  Cut shoe laces to size and stick or sew to the back. 



6.  Add eyes and nose and sew or stick on a bit of hair and then the rest is left to your creativity!  Make a little hat. Add pipe cleaners for arms. Feet can be Velcro or bits of tights.  Magnets can be sewn into hat or feet. 

Insert a wooden spoon into the back and you have a puppet!  There are countless adaptations!  


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