Do You See a ‘Merry Go Round Going Upstairs’? You Can by Trying this Creativity Technique

Windows Media Player 11 (8)

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

From time to time I like to test out new creativity techniques on my kids before I use them with clients. It is a great way to work out any kinks, as well as, a great source of entertainment and learning for the kids. I find if I am able to explain how to increase the quantity and quality of ideas by using a  creativity technique with a preschooler, then it is easy enough for an adult.

A little while back I began thinking about learning styles and how each of us has a preferred method for interacting with and processing information. In thinking about visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners (those who learn by physical activity), I worked to devise a creativity technique that tapped into a variety of learning styles.

For the test run of the creativity technique, I played a song (auditory) using Windows Media Player. As the song played and the graphics danced around the screen (visual), I invited the kids to keep the beat by tapping their fingers (kinesthetic). Then, I asked them to come up with as many ideas as they could for what the images on the screen might be. They started out with literal ideas like, “purple moving around the screen” and “colors running”, then they gradually worked their way up to more unique ideas.

The highlight of our experiment was when my 3-year old said, “Mommy, it looks like a merry go round going upstairs.” At that moment, my heart sang out, “Eureka, it works!”

When I use this creativity technique with clients, I ask them to…

  • Consider the challenge they are looking to solve
  • Listen to the music
  • Watch the images
  • Tap along
  • And, write down all the ideas that come to mind for solving their challenge.

While this technique always increases the quantity and quality of ideas, sometimes the kids have an easier time stretching for unique ideas than the adults. This could be that adult’s brains are pre-wired. Practicing this technique will help re-map and build new connections in your mind. In case you’re curious, the science behind changing the human brain as a result of one’s experience is called neuroplasticity.

2 Responses to Do You See a ‘Merry Go Round Going Upstairs’? You Can by Trying this Creativity Technique

  1. Caroline Fraley says:

    Alicia, I am really enjoying your posts, this one in particular. Keep doing it…they’re lovely, insightful and meaningful. Cxx

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