Creativity isn’t an intangible monster that we hope comes with some sort of random inspiration. It is the amalgamation of all skills and knowledge that you have previously absorbed before the problem you are trying to creatively tackle. You will rarely find a case where a skill suddenly presents itself with which you’ve had zero experience. So what skills help in creativity? For the sake of this post, I will suggest one possible skill that has helped countless people and you can start building this talent in your kids at an early age (possibly 2 or 3).
Short Term Memory
“Seriously? That’s a skill?” Yep, you betcha. For one, it is the only pathway to the long term memory (that I am aware of). Without a commitment to short term, long term doesn’t happen with ease. So it makes sense that a well developed short term memory could provide a way for your to access your skills and knowledge that you have learned over the years and use it in a creative way.
If you remember the post: How to Be Creative… (or go ahead and read it if you want) research suggests that one way to have your mind creatively solve a problem, is to leave the problem. Once you leave the problem, your brain works on the problem subconsciously until there is a trigger that helps you put the solution and problem together. A well defined short term memory can help this! So here is what I recommend:
Play this game with your kids:
Aptly named, this is a great game and should be played a few times per week. After looking for a graphic, I found there are many more versions (including a Dora the Explorer) of this game than when I was a child. As an adult, this won’t pose much of a challenge but it can exercise some of your memory muscles as you play with your kids.
What about games or activities for adults? I would investigate similar games on apple store or android apps. You can also check out the MENSA books and activities that this brainy organization publishes. Either way, encourage short term memory development (yes, I am suggesting that it can be made better with practice but it is definitely innate as well). Hopefully, this will give you or your kids a greater skill for creativity.
Follow on Twitter: @CreativeDad (I could use the friends)