Ideas for families:

fun activities for writing, drawing, and building creativity in your kids!

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Ideas for families

I believe in the power of a child's imagination. Kids are creative, and can stay creative their whole life. But they need help. They need an environment in which their ideas can be tried out, and appreciated.

There is no better place for creativity to thrive than in the family. This is not a knock on schools; virtually any teacher will tell you how hard it is in the highly pressured world of education to give kids a chance to really explore and discover ideas. Some teachers have told me, if it's not in a state standard, they can't spend time on it. Guess what? There are no state standards for your child's ability to create his own worlds of fancy.

Ideas flourish in the home!

So, if you want to help your child get in touch with that creative current that flows through his brain, let me guide you through some ideas I have. They're just a start. These articles were originally written for a national parenting organization. I hope they'll provide a spark for you and your children. Trust me... the activities in these articles are fun and test-driven by kids.

The Magic of Making Stories
Your child loves stories. Here's how to help her begin to create his own by weaving the making of stories into your family's hectic life.

Seeing With Your Imagination
One of the key elements of creativity is the ability to "see things in a different way." Read why that is important then try some of my crazy, funny activities that are bound to get you both thinking in new channels.

Scavenger Hike or a Town Treasure Hunt
Make an outdoor walk into a way to encourage your kids to really notice the world around them, and have a great time doing it!

Random Headline Generator
Over 100 million possible wacky headlines are waiting for you and your kids. Many will make you laugh. Use them to discuss the story that could have caused such a headline. It's a great way to spark your child's imagination.

Drawing from Nature
Here's a simple lesson on helping your kids to draw from real life.

Many kids love to cartoon. Here are some tips on getting started, plus some free four-panel comics which you can print off for them to add words. I'm now offering a downloadable book with a collection of similar black-and-white comic strips. You'll find a link there to how to purchase it.

Food Art -- creativity on a plate!

Learn to Juggle
Your kids can learn to juggle! Follow my three easy steps. Or just check these pages out to see my funny animated bear juggling.

Brainstorming with kids
Help your children push past their first idea to discover wonderful concepts hidden in their imaginations.
Looking at paintings with kids
Here's how to help kids get something out of a painting -- even starting a story with one!
Playing with indoor forts
Want to build a blanket fort or two? Here's a sample game of how to play with them.
Writing stories using fortune cookies
I'll show you how to make up your own fortunes and use them to start a story.
Brueghel's Children's Games
I've updated an old painting that captured the spirit of children's playing. Check it out. :-)

Life Outside the Box
Read short articles I wrote for my weekly column on a national parenting website. They're about creativity in the life of families -- with plenty of personal stories thrown in.

ATTENTION: I'm compiling a list of essential childhood experiences and would love your input! Read my list and email me with your ideas. Let's encourage the next generation of kids!

Just to show that I practice what I preach, here is a journal of creative fun my daughter and I tried. I hope it will encourage you to try some of the ideas with your own kids!

Enjoy! And as always, I'm interested in what you think.

In addition to all the free material on this site, I have downloadable books that are perfect for keeping kids writing in school or at home!

(click on books to see)

The Adventures of Pirate Dog
Picture prompts are a great way to inspire kids to write! Here are 26 of my best drawings with fun, pre-writing worksheets

Write Your Own
Kids can add the
dialogue and their special touches to my funny comic strips filled with wacky characters!

Sparks: Year One
Here’s a fantastic resource for teachers: a whole year of weekly creative writing lessons built around wacky holidays!

More to come!

all material ©2004-2007 Bruce Van Patter

Parents: looking for something to ignite the imaginations of your kids? Try this new book I'm offering as a purchasable download. Kids love adding their words to my cartoons!