The other day I saw a young boy talking on his cell phone while he was riding his bike. While it’s probably not a very safe thing to do, it is a marvel of modern invention and creativity. When I was a kid I could have never dreamed of a day when I would be able to speak on the phone while riding my bike.
I was happy to clothespin a playing card to my bike tire so that it sounded like an engine. I was glad to create a “haunted house” in my basement. I enjoyed pretending that the local woods were a wilderness that I had to survive. I celebrated scoring the winning touchdown on my front yard playing field.
Today it’s a bit more of a challenge for kids to create their own scenes, scenarios, and survival stories. Entertainment is everywhere (even on a bike). Creativity is already created for kids. Screens are all around. Information overload is a part of every day.
It’s tough to be truly creative today. Ideas are all around us. The old saying still holds true that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Google a word or idea and you’ll find more information than you could ever read.
Here’s a creative test: When’s the last time you started with only a blank screen, white piece of paper, or an empty notebook? How about giving it a try, or sharing this idea with your favorite kid:
- No search engines
- No music in the background
- No TV to get the ideas flowing
- No Wikipedia
- No research
- No books filled with art
- No demonstration manual
Start the blank document, lay out the blank page, or open up the note book. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my project a square or a circle?
- In what time frame is my project set?
- Where will my project go?
- Who will “consume” my project?
- What is the mood of my project?
- What color is my project?
- Where in the universe will my project take place?
Now put your fingers to the keyboard, brush to the page, or pen to the paper. Let your imagination lead. See where it takes you. Don’t stop. Keep writing, painting, or drawing for at least five minutes without stopping.
You will be amazed at where your creative thinking takes you. You may even find yourself with the beginnings of something that would rival a cell phone, a hand held computer, or a new type of communication.
Maybe someday a kid will be carrying around your invention or idea…an invention or idea that today can only be imagined.
What ideas do you have for conquering a blank page?