Creating New Timbres

Of course, there are really no new ideas, only new combinations (or arrangements) of existing ideas. So learning to combine and arrange ideas in new ways is an essential part of creative thinking. When young children have learned the concept of timbre and heard many different examples, they can “create” their own timbres using familiar instruments, objects […]

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STEAM Learning with my Favorite December Story

December can really be a magical time of year. I love finding songs and stories that convey that magic in a way that ALL children can understand and appreciate together. “Polar Bear Night” has been a favorite of mine – and my students – since I first discovered it. Talk about a simple plot. A […]

The Top 10 Greatest Things About Lists (to Generate Creative Thinking)

This article, adapted from a chapter in my book “Teaching Creativity: Supporting, Valuing and Inspiring Young Children’s Creative Thinking,” shows how list-making can be a springboard for students to generate creative ideas. What could be more mundane and uncreative than writing a list? Lists are for grocery shopping, weekend chores, or what to pack in […]

E. Paul Torrance’s Creative Manifesto

In 1983, E. Paul Torrance wrote these remarkable words: Manifesto for Children Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something & pursue it with intensity. Know, understand, take pride in, practice, develop, exploit, & enjoy your greatest strengths. Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games […]

“I Have an Idea!” – Creating Music and Dance for Young Children

From the way young children react when they see me enter their classroom for a music enrichment class, you’d think I was driving an ice cream truck with Dora the Explorer. They’re running up to hug me, yelling my name, and jumping and down – often all three at the same time! Why all the […]

Think Outside the Catalog!

When I look through school-supply catalogs, I shake my head at the amount of money some people are apparently willing to pay for little fuzzy pompoms, foam paper, feathers, sequins, stamps, stickers, and other fancy, colorful “art supplies.” Nothing against little fuzzy pompoms, but there’s a multitude of fabulous, free art materials hiding in plain […]

Teaching Young Individuals

If you have a degree in early childhood education, you’ve probably spent hours and hours studying theories galore of child development. Piaget, Freud, Erikson, Dewey, Gesell, Montessori, Vygotsky and on and on and on. And hey, I love those guys (well… some more than others). They each have something to teach us about how young children […]

3 Ways to Wonder About a Sound

A toddler hearing an unfamiliar sound: Stops everything. Looks around for the source of the sound. Points excitedly to the source of the sound when she finds it. Asks the nearest adult, “What dat? What dat?” Continues asking until the adult answers: “A truck.” “The microwave beeping.” “A flute.” “My stomach growling.” Adult hearing an […]

Amazing Sounds of Aluminum Pie Plates

It’s so great that I love to make quiches and I’m too lazy to make my own crusts. Because then I have to buy frozen pie crusts – which come with FREE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS!!!! If you’ve never played the aluminum pie plate as a musical instrument, there are a couple things you should know:   […]

Teach Science and Music and Have a Wild Rumpus with PLASTIC CUPS!

Don’t you love it when the materials you need for a project are available at the dollar store or, better yet, free? These science and music projects use any and all kinds of plastic cups you can round up. They might include large or small plastic or paper drinking cups, applesauce, yogurt and snack cups, […]