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How to Use Unconventional Materials to Inspire Creativity

Using strange or non-traditional mediums can help kids unlock their creative potential

Creativity is important. Not only does it lead to greater critical thinking, lateral thinking, and problem solving abilities, it also inspires children to be more artistic, musical, and expressive. Creativity is essential for both intellectual and emotional development, so the more opportunities you have to inspire creativity with your own children, the better.

We all have traditional art and craft projects we have with our kids—colored pencils, crayons, glitter glue—and they’re all fantastic for helping kids express themselves. But sometimes it’s better to think outside the box and play with some really unconventional materials:

  • Shaving Cream. Use a board or a clean countertop to hold a large lump of shaving cream. Like clay, it’s moldable, but it’s also smooth enough that it can almost be painted with. The result is some truly interesting creations you couldn’t find with any other medium.
  • Office Supplies. These are great because you’ve already got them lying around the house somewhere. Make a tray of paper clips, binder clips, rubber bands, unsharpened pencils, and other random office supplies and encourage your kids to make their own sculptures.
  • Aluminum Foil. Another item you can find in almost any house, aluminum foil has a variety of uses. Most notably, it can be shaped and scrunched together to form three-dimensional sculptures and images.
  • Anything You Can Find. With the right creative touch, almost any material can be turned into a craft supply or artistic medium. Look around your house and find items or products that can be shaped, transformed, positioned, moved, sculpted, or assembled. The only limits are your imagination.

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