Kids spend a lot of time focusing on academics in the classroom. When they get to the after school program, they’re ready for some creativity. There are many ways your program can encourage the kids to explore their creativity.
The environment can be a motivator when it comes to creativity. If the after school program is in a plain, boring space, it won’t inspire much creativity in the kids. Create a bright environment that gets the kids excited. You might hang inspirational posters or artwork.
Display Student Work
Another way to dress up the after school program is by displaying student work that shows creativity. Create a gallery of student artwork in the area. Or have a bulletin board display with pictures of students working on creative projects. Seeing the displays of creativity might encourage the kids to continue being creative.
Access to Materials
The materials you have available for students can encourage creativity. Give the kids access to materials that encourage exploration or creative expression. This might include art supplies, science tools and building materials. Choose materials that require the kids to manipulate and interact.
The activities you plan for the after school program also affect creativity in kids. Activities with set steps or procedures don’t encourage much creativity. For example, if you have a craft projects with pieces already cut out that the kids simply glue together, they’ll all turn out the same and don’t show much individuality.
Instead, focus on open-ended projects. These are activities that the kids direct. You might set out particular materials but leave the end project up to the kids. Instead of having a predetermined craft project, you might set out some art supplies and let the kids create.
Incorporate the Arts
Kids can think creatively in any subject area, but the arts tend to emphasize creativity more than other areas. Incorporate different aspects of the arts into the program, including drama, music, dance and visual arts.