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How to Inspire Creative Problem-Solving in Children

An active imagination is one of the most valuable ways to cultivate creative problem-solving in children. If we look to the future, it is likely that our homes, cities and vehicles that we know today will look very different. Our children spend much of their childhood in the classroom and when properly run, it can be a place where imaginations are inspired. We have to be wary of just teaching our children to regurgitate information and memorize previous solutions.

Creative Problem-Solving in Children - Rainbow Hands

The real importance of our education system is to train our students to improve upon the present and generate new ideas. The world’s problems require innovative new solutions. These may be new medical treatments, new technology, new music or works of art. The future is in the hands of our children and we can begin developing their creative problem-solving skills from their earliest years.

1. Creative Problem-Solving Evolves from Past Solutions

Creativity in education lies in the balance between unstructured play and imitating models. This gives children precedents to build on, but it doesn’t constrain their choices. This gives them the knowledge of what has been done in the past but with the goal of making it something better. One example is encouraging a child to create their favourite artist’s next artwork. They begin by studying an artist’s career and then imagine what they would have done if they had lived longer.

Another example would be asking children to tell a story from the perspective of a different character. A great example of this is The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. He retells the story of the Three Little Pigs, but from the perspective of the wolf. This hilarious book claims that the wolf was actually just suffering from allergies and not trying to blow their houses down at all! These lessons teach children how to use the past to inspire new ideas.

2. Encourage Exploration to Develop Creative Problem-Solving

Oftentimes when we ask children to produce something, we are satisfied with a single option. However, with only one answer, even if it’s good, limits a creative mind! The best practice in a classroom is to require students to generate many solutions to a creative problem. This needs to start early because children will typically lock themselves prematurely into an answer.

In the book by Antoinette Portis named Not a Box, someone asks the rabbit, “Why are you sitting in a box?” The rabbit answers it’s not a box: it’s a racecar! However, the rabbit doesn’t stop there but continues with more options such as a mountain, a robot, a tug-boat, a rocket, and even the crow’s nest of a pirate ship. This is a simple exercise that can work well with students of all ages!

3. Take Away the Fear of the Wrong Answer

Taking away the fear of the wrong answer can do wonders for inspiring creativity in children. For creative assignments, children can be asked to come up with multiple options for a creative problem. However, these aren’t graded. After talking these through, the student can then pick their favourite to develop to completion. This allows an opportunity to take chances without being penalized.

Another way to encourage creative risk-taking is to tackle real-world problems, where answers have not yet been. One example is NASA’s “Imagine Mars” project. The children are asked to create a manual for human life on other planets. This gets them to think about all of the different elements that allow a community to be able to live on earth. Including where they will live, how they will eat and what to do with the waste. They will then need to provide creative solutions for how they could do this on Mars.

At Childventures, your child is introduced to numbers, science, French, music, computers, fine motor development, self-care skills and more, in a creative yet structured environment. Teachers take on the role of the facilitator and encourage children to take the lead in their own learning, expertly guiding your child as they learn to understand the world. Book a tour to learn more about what makes Childventures a leader in child development.


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  • Our child was enrolled with Childventures for 5 Years. We chose the CV program as it offered seamless before and after school care, no down time over the holidays when we didn’t have the time off. The safety and security of the facility was a big deal and the core knowledge and Montessori base Read more...
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    January 15, 2018
  • My children were enrolled at Childventures for 4 years. We chose CV’s JK/SK program over the public or other private sector because the class sizes are smaller, the strong reading program and advanced curriculum content. After completing the JK/SK program their transitions to public school wer Read more...
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    January 8, 2018
  • My two children were enrolled at CV for 3 and 4 years. We had such a Positive experience throughout our time at CV that we didn't want it to end! When they started public school we quickly found the transition to be lacking in many ways mostly because of what we had become used to at CV. We pul Read more...
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    January 4, 2018
  • My children were enrolled with Childventures from infant to completion of SK. We chose CV over the public or other private sector because of the smaller classroom sizes and focused attention on Montessori skills, reading/writing, mathematic development and organization of learning for young children Read more...
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    December 18, 2017
  • Our LO is 16 months old and is enrolled at the Oakville location. It's clear to see that he enjoys being there everyday just as much as we enjoy dropping him off. Doesn't matter who's at the desk when we first enter in the mornings, whether it's Kathryn, Chris or Matthew we are always greeted with s Read more...
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    December 12, 2017
  • I just wanted to write and say, two weeks into our son attending child ventures my husband and I noticed a HUGE difference in his behaviour, manners and patience. Best of all he was potty trained in a couple short weeks! We noticed what he practised at school, he brought back to our home life. Manne Read more...
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    November 15, 2017
  • My daughter has been with CV since the age of 1. She started out in the infant program and is now currently thriving in the JK program. At 3 1/2 years of age she is far more advanced than I could have imagined. Keep up the great work CV!! Read more...
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    October 24, 2017
  • I would recommend CV to all my friends because it's so great. My son started at CV When he's 11 months old. All the teachers are very caring, nice and knowledgeable. Currently my son is in the JK/SK, he's very happy to study there. Read more...
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    October 24, 2017
  • We are very impressed with Child Ventures Oakville. I was nervous to leave my son to go back to work but transitioning into daycare was made so much easier by the wonderful staff and teachers. We are confident we made the right choice and see so much growth already in our son the past month he has b Read more...
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    October 6, 2017
  • Our son is 22 months old and this is his second experience in a childcare setting. We call Ryan sunshine personified - he is a happy, smiley little guy. He is also a little guy who has had a pretty rough start to his little life. Much of his first year was spent at SickKids but he handled multiple s Read more...
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