CREATIVITY TOOL # 4: humor *
It’s not an accident that I am including “humor” in my Creativity Tool Box. Here is how humor encourages creativity in children:
- Kids enjoy humor
- It makes them feel more relaxed and playful
- In order to prolong the hilarity they are motivated to become active participants in goofing around
- They feel comfortable enough to exercise their flexible thinking by creating funny words, situations, activities, etc.
Humor in Books
There are many great funny books in children’s literature, but some are easier to use than others when it comes to inspiring creativity in young kids. My favorite ones are nonsense books, like books by Dr. Seuss. His simple and silly rhymes encourage children to play with language and create their own wacky words (and even rhymes).
So, why not to goof around like Dr. Seuss in his books? Here are some activities you can do with nonsense books:
- Make pictures of funny looking creatures and ask your child to name them
- Invite her to draw (paint, or make with play dough) her own crazy characters and name them
- Make simple absurd rhymes and teach your kid to do the same: sofa – BOFA – …., box – KNOX – …., etc.
- Toss the ball to each other as you practice silly words and absurd rhymes.
Oh, this is so liberating and fun!
If you read a funny book (not a nonsense one), you can still use it to inspire creativity in your child. Talk about other silly situations that might happen to the main character and invite your child to join. Make suggestions like, “I think, next day (the name of the main character) went to (come up with some funny place or situation). Ask your child to continue. The story doesn’t have to be long or logical, just fun!
Humor in Play
The children are so good at being silly (and creative!) When it doesn’t interfere with your schedule (like heading out the door when your son decided to practice creativity with getting dressed) allow and encourage it.
Here are some additional ideas your kids may try:
- Cut out paper animals, cut them into few parts, and reassemble them into silly looking creature. They can name the wacky looking creature.
- Do the same with paper person (or face) and mix up the body parts (or facial parts). Your child can glue them to make an absurd person (or face).
- While playing pretend, dress up in crazy ways. Have a competition for the best crazy costume.
Make Connections With Fine Art and Classical Music
There are many awesome artworks that can inspire your child’s creativity. Here are just some of them:
- Show your child Arcimboldo’s paintings. They are hilarious. Your child can make her own portraits based on Arcimboldo’s paintings just like my students did. She can use items found around the house.
- Look with your child at some surrealistic paintings by Rene Magritte, like Son of Man or Golconda. Aren’t they funny? Your kid can make his own craft inspired by one of the paintings. Here is the one my students made during one of my classes.
- For more hilarious art projects check out the book Imagine That!: Activities and Adventures in Surrealism by Joyce Raimondo.
- Have fun! Make it Funny!
And who said you can’t fool around with classical music? Richard Perlmutter, certainly, did when he created his amazing series Beethoven’s Wig. Each CD or MP3 contains some of the greatest hits of classical music paired with hilarious lyrics. In addition, there are original musical pieces too. Check them out in your local library or get at least one of them for nonstop fun.
Here are some of my favorite ones:
*Click here for my other CREATIVITY TOOLS
For creativity classes inspired by fine art and humor check out the following classes. Click on each image to see a short movie.