How to teach creativity outdoors

How do you teach creativity to kids?  In this nature connections story Addie Broussard shares a few of her own tips and suggestions.  For starters, she takes them outside. Read on to learn more about teaching creativity in the great outdoors.

a child's hand drawing outdoors on a picnic table, text reads are your kids creative? why you need to encourage outdoor writing

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A Nature Activity to Spark Your Child’s Creativity

By Addie Broussard

The outside world is full of exciting things to see and can be a hive of creativity for young minds. Encouraging young ones to use what they see outdoors in their creative activities can be a win-win. It gets them thinking creatively and reminds them of all the wonderful things they can discover outside. So, how can you teach creativity outdoors?  For starters, you can you encourage children to combine their natural creativity with what they see outside.

Try Writing Outdoors

Getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Triggering a child’s imagination with a prompt can make writing easier. For younger children who are pre-writing age, take the writing prompt and turn it into a simple drawing or coloring prompt. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to come up with prompts – I have a worksheet with a few ideas to help you get you started.

Take the Opportunity to Educate

While you’re outside, opportunities will naturally pop up to dive deeper into subjects. You might find an unusual plant that your child is interested in or they might discover an insect or an animal they haven’t encountered before. Even if they just enjoy observing others and that inspires their creativity, that’s great. Every child finds something different in the great outdoors and every child expresses their creativity in different ways.

Being Outdoors is Inspiring

No one likes being cooped up inside all the time, and children hate it more than most. They often want to be out exploring.  Think of an expansive open space like a field or a beach as the blank canvas that a child can use to express their creativity. With the freedom to explore and create, they’ll flourish.

An Example of Writing Inspired by Nature

Last June, I encountered a unique insect in Portugal and was incredibly delighted by the discovery. It made me feel like a child again, seeing something fascinating for the first time. I kept telling others about what I’d experienced – and sharing this quick video I captured – but I yearned for more people to meet this insect.

Ultimately, I embarked on the challenging task of bringing this encounter to life through writing.

The next year of my life was spent writing and rewriting, working with a wonderful illustrator and learning how to compile a picture book. Now that I’ve come to the end of that journey, it’s a wonderful feeling to be able to again delight in this insect and share the story with others.

So what is the insect you might ask?  

I’ll give you a hint, it looks just like a bee but it’s not a bee.

If you have a young bug lover in your life or want to encourage creative writing about nature, check out my story about the insect encounter.  The Beedog is now available on Amazon.   Or, you can enter the give-away and try to win yourself a copy

an illustration from the beedog, a small child on the sand at the ocean

The Beedog is recommended for children aged 4-8 and is a wonderful way to introduce children to the excitement of writing outdoors or just thinking creatively about nature.

If you are interested in learning more about Addie and STEM books for kids, you can connect with her on instagram @twoumbrellasplease,  or on Facebook @TwoUmbrellasPlease

Addie Broussard

Ultimately, teaching creativity to kids starts with simply providing them open opportunities and modeling for them a genuine curiosity and creativity in what we, as parents do while out in nature ourselves… and Addie is a great example of this.

P.S.  I’ve read the book and it’s cute!  I totally learned something new and will look more closely next time I visit the beach.  I also appreciated the invitations to learn and activities following the story.  It would be a great tool for sparking some curiosity about nature in your own children or students.

What should you do now:

a small child's hands being creative outdoors by making a heart from pine cone pieces

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