You can inspire creativity in kids in so many simple and fun ways. With the right ideas and mindset, your children will have a blast with these screen-free activities.
This free printable checklist includes 40+ ways for your kids to enjoy frugal activities that spark imagination and more.
Why It's Important to Inspire Creativity in Kids
I love how kids of all ages have different personalities and interests. Variety is the spice of life, right?
With 5 boys, I certainly have a variety to deal with in our homeschool and family life. It's been awesome watching their unique perspectives and skills unfold and develop.
Some of my boys are always "busy" (and I mean that in a good way!). These boys like exploring the world around them, getting involved in DIY projects with household objects found in our home. If they're not working on an activity, these kids can often be found reading or just walking around outside, observing our yard and beyond.
Two of my boys, however, tend to struggle with "finding something to do". These boys come to me, asking what to do. They need just a bit of external motivation and inspiration to get their creative juices going. And they love having new ideas for creative play.
That's why these all-in-one crates from KiwiCo have been fantastic additions to our learning fun adventures!
As much as I love to help my boys dive into learning fun, I also want to encourage independence and a move to more internal motivation to experience new things and creative thinking. Maybe you are in the same boat?
That's why I'm sharing these 40+ ways to inspire creativity in kids (with free printable checklist). It's a simple and cheerful way to find activities that your children can enjoy without screens AND jumpstart curiosity.
Learn More About This Free Checklist of Ideas to Inspire Creativity in Kids
This free printable checklist includes 40+ ways to inspire creativity in kids.
There's a cute and colorful rainbow with hearts at the top right corner of the checklist. Also, you'll find a bonus idea (for making a time capsule) at the bottom right corner of the page.
40+ Ways to Inspire Creativity in Kids
These ideas are incredible ways to motivate your kids to enjoy creative activities. Although these suggestions may seem simple, you'll soon find that your kids will be off on many cool creative adventures.
I hope that these different things help boost your children's creativity, become better problem solvers, and develop their natural curiosity.
1. Go outside
When all else fails, head outdoors and get some fresh air. Just changing your environment can spark wonderful creative ideas and activities!
If the weather is yucky, try a protected area, like a porch or garage (if possible).
Your children don't have to be outside for a super long time. You can set a timer for 5-10 minutes to start - and then challenge for longer the next time.
2. Reduce screen time
I know, sometimes easier said than done, right?
Too much screen time, however, can have a negative impact on many things, especially creativity. Having a printable list (like our free one that you can find out more about at the bottom of this post) can help your kids find healthy alternatives.
3. Create something with paper or cardboard
Creative time doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Simple things, like paper and cardboard, can be transformed into many things, like:
- puppet theater
- paper airplanes
- cootie catchers
4. Read a book
Encourage a lifelong love of reading by making it fun ❤️️📚
And our free printable reading log charts are super cool, too 😎
5. Paint or draw
With a few simple supplies, your kids can enjoy creative activities. This free coloring mixing activities pack is a great way to get started. My boys love using:
Washable Kids Paint 6 Count, 7 Paint Brushes, Paint Palette - Washable Paint Set For Kids Craft Projects, Finger Painting Supplies KitUpgraded 48 Colors Watercolor Paint, Washable Watercolor Paint Set with 3 Paint Brushes and Palette, Non-toxic Water Color Paints Sets for Kids, Adults, Beginners and Artists, Make Your Painting TalkThe Pencil Grip Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paints, Thin Stix Paint Pens, Super Quick Drying, 12 Classic Colors for Children - 12 Pack - TPG-608KALOUR 76 Drawing Sketching Kit Set - Pro Art Supplies with Sketchbook & Watercolor Paper - Include Tutorial,Watercolor,Graphite,Colored,Metallic,Pastel,Charcoal Pencil - for Artists Beginners AdultsArt Supplies, 240-Piece Drawing Art Kit, Gifts Art Set Case with Double Sided Trifold Easel, Includes Oil Pastels, Crayons, Colored Pencils, Watercolor Cakes, Sketch Pad (Black)
6. Use your imagination
Try an activity like putting on music and closing your eyes. What images and colors do you see? How do you feel?
7. Create an inspiration board
Your kids can get so much out of this project (also known as a vision board). This type of activity can really open your mind to new possibilities, goals, and dreams.
8. Take a walk
9. Have a picnic
A snack or small meal can get your creative juices flowing. Your picnic can be indoors or outdoors. Bring a book or listen to music.
10. Build a fort
Another great indoor or outdoor activity! For an indoor for, use blankets, sheets, towels, and pillows. An outdoor fort can be made using sticks, tarp, and other suitable materials.
11. Create a flipbook
Learn how to make a flipbook (and the science behind it) over at Innovation Kids Lab.
12. Learn a new skill
Brainstorm ideas of what you'd like to learn. Narrow down your choices and pick one.
You can use books, videos, and worksheets to help your learn and practice your new skills.
13. Do something you enjoy
14. Use recycled items and create something new
Take a peek in your recycling bin. What items can you use to make something?
15. Ask questions
A fun challenge is to create a list of questions (and then do the research). You can use paper or a voice recorder. To get answers to your questions, use a device (like Alexa), online search, or good ol' books.
16. Write a poem
Poetry can be an awesome way to spark creativity. If your kids need some help getting started, try on of our free printable poetry activities.
17. Make a bird feeder
Help our feathered friends and enjoy a cool project. You can find a list of ideas at 123Homeschool4Me.
18. Finger paint
Sometimes it helps to get those hands messy to have some creative fun. You can use traditional finger paint and paper OR go with an edible version for a yummy activity.
19. Go on a scavenger hunt
20. Make a home cinema
Your child can use materials found in your home to make a cinema. OR plan a fun movie night for your family!
21. Ask for advice
Got a problem or concern? You can ask a trusted adult, sibling, or friend for guidance. Their feedback can help you figure out what to do (and boost your own creative problem solving skills).
22. Observe nature
Go on a nature walk. Sit outside and soak it all in. Or look out your window and let your mind wander as you observe what's going on.
23. Make an easy meal
Or snack 😉
Use the ingredients you already have and come up with a unique treat.
24. Draw with chalk
Head outside and use chalk on a sidewalk, driveway, or other suitable surface.
If you can't get outdoors, use a chalkboard (or slate), cardboard, or construction paper.
25. Start a journal
Or begin an art journal. You can use all sorts of supplies for this creative project!
26. Try a new hobby
You can find 50+ hobby ideas for kids at Parenting First Cry.
27. Make homemade slime
28. Draw your family tree
Are your kids interested in your genealogy? You can find free printable family tree activities at the National Archives.
29. Make something for play
Use recyclable materials OR an all-in-one crate (like our absolute favorite, KiwiCo) to create something to play with.
30. Visit a museum
This creative activity will take a bit of planning AND adult supervision. The results, however, are remarkable!
31. Plant some seeds
No matter what time of year it is, planting seeds can help your kids "sprout" some incredible creativity.
32. Make homemade playdough
DIY playdough is delightful! You can find our favorite recipe over at Living Well Mom.
33. Look for bugs in your backyard
I used to searching for insects and tiny critters in my yard. And my boys do, too. Our free printable minibeasts scavenger hunt is a wonderful way to get your children interested in this activity.
34. Make a list of thing you would like to do in the future
Wow! What a powerful activity! Thinking about your future is such a cool exercise to get creative juices flowing. I suggest jotting down your ideas and building on them whenever you can.
35. Make a board game
This one is my boys' top pick!
Games are a big part of our homeschool and overall family fun. My boys love to take their ideas to the next level by creating a game that we can share.
36. Do a puzzle
There are all types of puzzles to enjoy, like jigsaw, word, and number. My boy have fun with a variety of puzzles, like crossword, jigsaw, and sudoku.
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37. Write a letter
Or a card.
Both types of correspondence can mean so much to the receiver. AND help the sender feel creative.
Let your imagination flow by sketching! Your kids can just roll with their ideas or use our doodle prompts to get started.
39. Paint rocks
Pop outside and collect some rocks to paint. Pick a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You'll have plenty of inspiration for creative fun!
Get up and move. Put on some music and have a dance party. Movement is an excellent way to feel inspired and creative.
Make a time capsule. Decide what to include. Select a container. Set a time frame. Decide where to store it.
Tips & Tricks for Enjoying These Creative Ideas with Kids
I suggest hanging this printable checklist with ways to inspire creativity in kids in an area that is easily accessible and frequently visited. Print multiple copies and consider placing:
- on a refrigerator
- in your homeschool area
- on a bedroom door
- in front of a binder
Also, I recommend having as much as the materials available as possible. There are a lot of activities here so it would be difficult to have everything out at once. If possible, use a cabinet or storage container. My boys love having one of our rolling carts to store all of their creativity supplies.
If 40 ideas feel overwhelming to your kids or you, I totally get it! Take a bit of time to read over these ideas and chat about them. You can highlight or circle the activities that your kids might want to try at first.
Ask your kids open-ended questions about their creative projects to encourage them to chat about their new experiences. Also, chat about future creative ways to enjoy these activities. What are different materials that could be used (like unique art supplies, popsicle sticks, cardboard boxes, or just a blank page? Could any of these activities become creative hobbies to continue?
Oh, and what are some original ideas that you could add to the back of this printable list? You could make a mud kitchen, extend an activity off a great book, engage in free play, and even make DIY miniature golf courses in your backyard.
Get Your Free Checklist to Inspire Creativity in Kids
WooHoo! Get ready for some amazing creative inspiration for your kids!
You can print as many copies of this list as you need to enjoy with your homeschool, classroom, or co-op. If you have co-workers or friends who may like to use these free printables, please share this post. Thank you for your cooperation and sharing!
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