creative boyAll kids are by nature creative. But if you have highly creative kids in your life, you might recognize these common traits identified by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Kaufman, authors of Wired to Create:

  1. an openness to one’s inner life
  2. a preference for complexity and ambiguity
  3. an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray
  4. the ability to extract order from chaos
  5. independence
  6. unconventionality
  7. a willingness to take risks

The big surprise

The big surprise in a creative kid’s imagination network may be that an openness to one’s inner life shows up as the strongest of all the common traits.

Child-centered spirituality nurtures the inner life of a creative child.

Here are some specific ideas for different age groups.

toys talkAGES 2-5

  • Praise originality. Turn off the talking toys once in a while and help the child make up silly voices for plush toys, action figures or dolls.
  • When an ambulance or fire truck speeds by, help children think of a way to express empathy in their own words to communicate good thoughts or prayers for anyone sick or hurt.
  • Book: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? Valerie Deneen suggests here that filling a kindness bucket is a creative way to visualize how the child’s actions affect others.

trayAGES 6-11

  • Mealtime game: Alice Honig suggests putting out 3-4 objects on the table; then ask, “Which one of these would you give up if you had to give one back? Why? What could you do with the other two things? Could you use them together? How? (Note: adults should participate as a player, not as an authority figure.)
  • Picklebums gives us Dress-Up Glasses as a way to choose to see everything in a positive or negative way. After creating the glasses, do several role plays  discussing what “being optimistic” means.


  • Suggest that they document their gratitude through art. What things are you grateful for in your life? Have you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Document it through making a film, writing, painting, making a playlist of music, creating a collage, etc…. any type of work that represents these things.
  • Make something for someone else. You will honor those around you who support you. (Note: Both of these ideas from Fritz Perlz.)

What activities can you share with our readers to strengthen their inner life? Feel free to list them in the comments below this post.

Tweetable: Ideas here that engage a child’s spirit in creative activities. Click to Tweet