Say Goodbye to Your Typical Goodnight Routine

Even though the day is done, the opportunities for creative thinking don’t have to be. Elizabeth Rieke shares insight on how to stimulate creative thinking skills, while settling your kids down for the night.

Continue reading

If You Say, “Try This”…They Won’t!

turkeyAs Thanksgiving nears and families labor in the kitchen to prepare a wide array of foods, many see this feast as a great opportunity to introduce children to new foods.

However, trying to convince a child to try something will often have the opposite effect. When was the last time you tried something new simply because someone told you to?

Continue reading

How To Dress Up Your Kid’s Morning Routine

Getting kids dressed in the morning can be a chore, for them and for you. We consulted with Center for Childhood Creativity CEO, Elizabeth Rieke, for a few simple ideas to make mornings more fun and less stressful.

Her insight is that by introducing imaginary play to getting dressed for the day, kids won’t think of it as a chore. Instead, they’ll eagerly transform themselves into other beings — like fairies, princesses and superheroes. Yes, this means you have to be okay with taking a superhero to soccer. This is good for them. Dress up plays an important role in childhood development. It allows them to explore roles they observe in the world, which is empowering.

Continue reading

Waking Up Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Our mission is to ignite and advance creative thinking. But at 7 o’clock in the morning? Yes! Get your kids off to a positively-energized, focused start with these tips from Center for Childhood Creativity CEO and Executive Director, Elizabeth Rieke. She’s even tried these at home — successfully. Continue reading

Why “How Was Your Day?” is a Bad Question for Kids

Back to school is an incredibly busy time for parents, an exciting time for kids and an opportune time to set up new norms for family communication. A dad friend of mine recently lamented that he has no idea what happens during school for his kids. By the time he gets home from work, the kids have moved on and when he asks, “How was you day?” all he gets in return is half-hearted, “Fine.” Continue reading

Autumn & the Outdoors: Experiencing Nature’s Benefit with Your Children

By Suz Lipman

My family and I have always loved fall. It’s often the season when we most acutely feel the turning of the year and the Earth. It’s the season of brilliant colors, bountiful harvests, introspection, exploration, and family time and traditions. It can also be a wonderful time for outdoor play and discovery – things that don’t need to end when the weather cools and school resumes.

We’ve noticed, and research confirms, that especially magical things happen when kids are allowed to engage in outdoor free play, no matter the season. And studies show that time in nature positively impacts every area of child development – physical, psychological, intellectual, social and emotional. Continue reading

Praising Children & the Growth Mindset

As the mom of two young children, I often find myself saying things like “Great job!” and “Wow, you’re smart!”. I never gave a second thought to praising my kids to boost their self-esteem and make them feel good about their accomplishments. That is a parent’s job, right?  Reading Carol Dweck’s Mindset changed my perspective about praise and how I view motivation and achievement in my own life and my children’s lives.

What is a “growth mindset”?  The simple yet powerful message in Dweck’s book is based on over two decades of research on two types of mindsets: the fixed mindset, which is the belief that ability is fixed and unchanging, and the growth mindset, which is the belief that abilities can be developed through practice and learning.  Dweck explains (and supports with hundreds of studies with children and adults) that our mindset permeates all aspects of our lives and shapes our attitudes, goals, and perspective on work, relationships and how we raise our kids. Continue reading

Fostering the Creative Spirit in Your Child

 By Tom Limbert

Picasso said it best.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”

By now you know growing up is over-rated. Sure we want our children to be responsible and to respect others. But it doesn’t have to be at the expense of their intrinsic drive to creatively express themselves. In fact, I contend that the more we support our children’s innate wishes to express their ideas and be understood, the more willing they will be to listen to us and respect others. That’s what we all want. Well then, let’s get to how we can best foster our children’s creativity. Continue reading