Top 10 Resources to Inspire Creativity

Top 10 Resources to Inspire Creativity.

Providing experiences to inspire creativity involves children engaging in open ended tasks so that they can express their own ideas, problem solve, explore, predict and discover through trial and error. My top 10 resources (which always require adult supervision when being used) to inspire creativity are:

Boxes can be transformed into whatever your imagination desires – a rocket, an oven to bake, a puppet theatre, a house complete with people and furniture.  Boxes also make an excellent canvas. Children can use playdough, or craft supplies, to decorate a box to create a fancy cake. Another idea is to cover a shoe box with white paper, then cut some random shapes out of the box (in various sizes) and secure something like honeycomb mesh (available from craft stores), or any sort of material that can be used for threading purposes over the cut out holes (children can thread feathers, pipe cleaners etc into these spaces. Older children could also thread beads and buttons onto the pipe cleaners). Children can paint, or draw, on the box and combine this with threading items into their creations to create an original piece.

Wooden blocks. Adding some “props” to block play inspires different sorts of creations. For example, natural resources such as shells, pebbles, leaves and flowers could be gathered and incorporated into block play. Alternatively, pieces of felt, feathers, pom poms and other craft supplies could also be used.

Contact is a versatile resource. You could cover some party hats (the cone shaped ones) with contact – the sticky side facing out. Provide some embellishments (patty pans, ribbon, pom poms etc) for your child to decorate the hats. Use the decorated hats on some favourite toys and have a party. For older children, cover wooden blocks with contact (once again sticky side facing out) and provide embellishments (buttons, pieces of foam that  they can cut into desired shapes, small pom poms, wool, pieces of fabric etc) so that they can transform the blocks into creative pieces.

Books allow children to be transported to other times, places and “meet” all sorts of characters. Books are a perfect resource to stimulate imaginations.

Drawing materials – rotating drawing materials allows children to experiment. Try using water colour pencils, oil pastels or chalk with creative drawing prompts. Take profile pictures of your child in different positions (looking up, down, one arm reaching up etc). Print the pictures and glue each picture onto a piece of paper (if the photo is of your child looking down be sure to glue it in one of the top corners). Present this to your child and say something like….The boy/girl was looking down and couldn’t believe his eyes when he/she saw……(children then draw what they imagine is below)

Recycled materials. For example, old moneybox tins can be covered in coloured paper and then covered in contact (for durability) to make robots. Gather recycled materials such a bottle tops, spare plastic hooks, ribbon reels or whatever you have in your recycled stash. Secure a magnet to the back of the recycled materials so that they can be used to stick onto the moneybox to make a range of robots.

craft with a can

Old calendars have many creative uses, for example the pictures in calendars can be used as a backdrop and a source of inspiration when creating with playdough. The smaller pictures on the back of calendars can be used to make story telling dice.

Wood. Children can get creative with a hammer and instead of gluing a collage they can use 3D shapes to hammer a collage. Also, Geoboards can be made with wood and nails. Children can create pictures with wool or rubber bands on their Geoboards.

The great outdoors. Flowers, leaves, rocks and whatever else is in your backyard can be used for creative purposes. Create a piece of art with nature. Your child could make up a recipe using the resources in their backyard. The dish would need to be given a name and of course made.

Your imagination. Nurture children’s imaginations and present opportunities for them to experience a diverse range of play and creative experiences.

Elise Ellerman is a mum to three young children and the founder and owner of Creative Play Central, where nurturing children’s creativity through open ended play and creative experiences is valued. At Creative Play Central Elise, a former teacher, designs and personalises innovative activities for children that require lateral thinking, problem solving and “thinking outside the box”. An exciting addition to Creative Play Central is the launch of IMAGINATION CREATIONS on August 6, which are classes for children aged 3 – 10. At these themed classes, children will choose from a selection of creative prompts and use these to inspire a creation. All children need to do is bring their imagination and they will leave with a treasured creation. For details regarding classes and other services offered by creative Play Central visit our website at While visiting the website sign up for our newsletter and follow us on our recently created Facebook page where you will find more creative ideas.

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