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Oct 14, 2015 pic - pipe cleaners

I am a big advocate for creativity. As the world speeds up, there seems to be an increasing demand for children to know more, do more, and be more. Letters and numbers all have to be conquered at a young age because they are the basic blocks of learning.

But wait, have we forgotten something?

Oh yes, what about creativity? Creativity is something you need every single day. There are always problems to solve, dilemmas to puzzle through, and queries that don’t fit conventional answers. Well, how you will plow through all of that without a little creativity in tow?

So, while numbers and letters may be important, it is equally vital to provide your child with opportunities to think ‘outside the box’.

Case in point: pipe cleaners – an open ended material that can be used in multiple ways. Most would see these pipe cleaners and automatically think of different art projects that they can be used in.

But! pic - pipe cleaners

Those same pipe cleaners can also be used to make a variety of different eye glasses for a much loved stuffed animal. pic - pipe cleaners

I can’t even remember why or how we got on to the topic of eye glasses. Next thing you know, the bag of pipe cleaners is out on the floor and we’re crafting out eye glasses in all different shapes and sizes for all sorts of different occasions. It wasn’t an easy task. We discovered that each pair of eye glasses needed about 2 pipe cleaners and we had to do a lot of trial and error to leave enough material to make the arms of the glasses. Throughout it all, my daughter and I loved and giggled at how hilarious her stuffed animal looked with all those different glasses. pic - pipe cleaners

With that one simple bag of pipe cleaners, we accomplished so much. We spent quality time together as a family. We strengthened our problem solving skills. We made observations, analyzed the situation, and took action based on the outcomes observed. We honed those creative neural connections.  Most importantly, we laughed and had a ton of fun. That in itself is a huge health benefit!

Things to do: stretch your creative neural connections and be sure to laugh a little more today!

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