Category Archives: Creativity

George Washington Carver

As a young boy, George Washington Carver learned the importance of not neglecting work and study to enjoy his love of nature and painting. This thoroughness in keeping his priorities straight later paid off when he became a botanist and chemist.

As the professor of agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute, he was approached by farmers asking him to help them restore their depleted fields to productivity. After careful research, he found that peanuts would be the best crop to plant. However, when the peanuts were harvested, the farmers found there was no market for their abundant crop. Feeling responsible, Professor Carver determined to create a market and go all the way in helping the farmers. After only two days, he found twenty new uses for the peanut. Not satisfied with this, he continued researching throughout his lifetime, discovering over three hundred uses for the peanut, including peanut butter!

Achieving True Success

Ten Unchangeables (Craft)

Each of us has things in our lives which cannot be changed. It is important that we not only learn to accept these “unchangeables” in others but also in ourselves. Help the children accept the following unchangeables in themselves and others.

1. I am “One of a Kind”–The children should understand that they are special and no one else in the world is just like them.

2. My Birth Parents–No one can change who their birth parents are, even if not living with them.

3. My Brothers and Sisters–Just like birth parents, brothers and sisters by birth are something that cannot be changed.

4. Race–Each person has a particular race.

5. Mental Capacity–Each person is naturally more or less gifted at academics, sports, or mechanical skills.

6. Time in History–Each person is born on a certain day, in a certain year. We cannot change how old we are.

7. Gender–Each person is born as a boy or girl.

8. Order in My Family–Each person has a place in the order of siblings, either firstborn or perhaps the fourth among brothers and sisters.

9. Aging–Each person has physical changes that will naturally occur as he or she gets older.

10. Death–At some point, each of us will die.

In order to remember the ten unchangeables, give each child ten colored strips of paper and have them write one of the unchangeables on each strip. Then link the strips together to form a paper chain. Encourage the children to use the paper chains to remember the importance of accepting these things as part of their lives and making the best use of all of them.

Character First! Education Series 2

The Electron Microscope – Advantage of Developing Many Different Solutions

A physicist learned of the invention of the electron microscope and, not knowing the principle used, worked out 3 different ways by which it could be built. Later he checked the patent and found it used one of his methods, but another of his methods was superior and made the original patent obsolete.

Invention of the Transistor – the Benefits of “Creative Failure Methodology”

William Shockley described the process of inventing the transistor at Bell Labs as “creative failure methodology”. A multi-discipline Bell Labs team was formed to invent the MOS transistor and ended up instead with the junction transistor and the new science of semiconductor physics. These developments eventually led to the MOS transistor and then to the integrated circuit and to new breakthroughs in electronics and computers.

Richard Feynman, also a Nobel Laureate physicist, believed in getting his hands dirty and doing lots of experiments, saying “To develop working ideas efficiently, I try to fail as fast as I can”.

Newton’s Laws were Inspired by a Combination of Visual Images

Seemingly independent visual or mental images that are considered concurrently may inspire unique ideas. According to his own story (and in contradiction to the story of being hit on the head by a falling apple), Newton conceived the concept of universal gravitation when he observed an apple falling and at the same time noticed the moon in the sky. These simultaneous images inspired him to speculate if the same laws governed the falling apple and the moon orbiting the earth. This in turn led him to develop the laws of mechanics and established mathematical analysis and modeling as the principal foundations of science and engineering.

Creative Challenge

A creative mind is usually one that is active. Creating an active mind is not difficult – you just need to exercise it on a regular basis in order for you to go beyond mediocre thinking. Below are some interesting exercises designed to bring out the best in creative thinking. Try your hardest to resist looking at the answers until you have a solution (if you can). Enjoy…

1. 10 Apples

At the end of a birthday party, the hostess realises that there are 10 apples left in a basket. She distributed an apple to each of the 10 children who are leaving. After all the 10 children have taken their apples, there is still one apple left in the basket. Why?

2. The Jump

A man is drinking coffee at his table by the window. He is enjoying the view outside when suddenly he decides to jump out of the 20-storey building. He lands safely, unhurt in any way, although there is nothing to cushion his landing. How is this possible?

3. The Clock

The clock in the tower of the main City Square takes 2 seconds to strike 2 o’clock. How long will it take for the clock to strike 3 o’clock?

ANSWERS

1. Ten Apples

After giving away 9 apples, the hostess gave the basket away with the last apple still inside.

2. Jumping out from a 20-storey building

The man jumped out from the window of the ground floor of the 20-storey building

3. The Striking Clock

Start your stop-watch at the first strike and stop the watch at the second strike. You would have measured the time interval between the 2 strikes (which is 2 seconds in this case). This interval is a constant. To strike 3 o’clock there will be two time intervals of 2 seconds each, which means that 4 seconds will be required. Try it out, and you’ll see.

www.mindbloom.com

TOYS YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY

1. Shops. Save all your empty grocery cartons for a week or so and you’ll soon have a shop any aspiring grocer would be proud of. Gluing down the flaps makes cereal boxes, jelly packets etc. look unopened. Clothes, shoes, and toys can all be used as “stock”. Paper bags and real or play money add to the fun.

2. Doctors/Nurses. A roll of white toilet tissue makes this game much more fun as Dads, Grans, teddies or dolls are bandaged before your eyes. Plastic medicine spoons and cardboard box hospital beds for toys are extra props that make the game last longer.

3. Tubes. Cardboard tubes from kitchen roll or foil make instant telescopes for sailors, or tunnels to roll marbles through.

4. Cardboard boxes must be about the best free toys you can get hold of. Push in the ends of large ones to make tunnels and caves to crawl through. Draw on windows and doors with felt tip pens to make a house, add a flag and portholes for a boat or paper plates and a steering wheel for a car.

5. Miniature gardens. The foil trays that pies and prepared foods arrive in make lovely containers for miniature gardens. The children can enjoy hunting around the park or garden for twigs to make trees, moss for a lawn, stones to arrange as a rockery or a waterfall. Keep twigs or stones where you want them with a little blue tack or plasticine. Add toy people or animals and maybe a little water if the container is watertight. This can be a very creative and enjoyable exercise if you have children of very different age groups to entertain. A variation is to use play sand (not builder’s sand – it stains everything yellow) to make a beach scene, maybe adding shells, stones and a blue paper sea.

6. Paper puppets. A picture of anything – colourful bird, clown’s face, animal or cartoon character, carefully cut out by an adult and stuck to the top of a strip of card about five inches long and one and a half inches wide becomes a very easily made puppet. These give such pleasure and are so easy to make that you will probably end up with dozens of them. Magazine pictures can be stuck on to folded card to make theatre set background and wings.

7. Potato prints. After cutting a potato in half, draw on a simple shape. A triangle, circle or star perhaps. Cut away the rest of the potato, leaving a shape to dip into paint and print on to paper.

8. Skittles. Skittles can be improvised from large plastic cola or lemonade bottles. A little sand or water in the bottom makes them more stable. A good game for learning to count.

9. Dens. Building a den must be one of the most memorable parts of childhood as we all seem to recall the bliss of blankets draped over the airing rack in the garden or over the backs of chairs indoors. Even today’s sophisticated kids seem to find the thought much more exciting than just erecting the shop bought plastic play house. I think the secret is to give structural advice about making the thing stay upright, but let the children do as much as possible themselves. Really large boxes of the type that washing machines and fridges come in can be had for the asking from the big electrical goods retailers and are useful for rooms within dens. Indoors, one of the simplest dens can be made by throwing a large sheet or duvet over a table. Cushions, torches, biscuits and books will all be needed at the housewarming.

10. Sewing cards. Stick a picture on to a postcard or draw a simple duck, car or teddy shape. With a bodkin needle push holes around the outline of your design about one inch apart. Using brightly coloured wool in the bodkin or a long bootlace, thread in and out of the holes.

11. Stilts. You need to do a little drilling for this one. Take two strong tins, coffee or clean paint tins are ideal, and drill a hole about one inch from the top on opposite sides of the tin. Insert a length of string and knot securely. Check that the handle is at a comfortable length for the child before knotting the other side. These are always very popular, but never leave young children alone with them especially near stairs or steps.

12. Cafes. Children’s tea sets are a handy prop for this game, but a picnic set or microwave cookware is just as good. Giving the waiter/waitress a little notebook and pencil to take orders and making a tall white hat from a cylinder of paper for the chef will add realism. Sit dolls and teddies around as well as willing Aunts and Grannies for extra customers.

13. Playdough. Mix together two cups of flour, one cup of salt, one cup of water, one tablespoon of oil and a few drops of food colouring for an easy to make dough that will keep for about three weeks if you wrap it in polythene and keep it in the fridge. All you have to do is knead the mixture well. Divide the mixture up first if you have more than one colour available.

14. Obstacle course. An obstacle course can turn a rainy day into an adventure. Use whatever you have available. A bench to walk the plank, cushion stepping stones across shark infested seas, through a cardboard box tunnel, up a chair mountain or through a duvet cave. The wilder your imagination the more your children will love it.

15. Easy boats. Recycle your empty margarine cartons. Use them as boats for the bath or paddling pool. These are so easy that even very young children can help to make them. Cut out triangular sail shapes from white or coloured paper. Make a small hole at the top and bottom of the sail so that you can push through a straw to make a mast. Let the child fix this to the bottom of a clean margarine tub with a lump of blue tack or plasticine. They sail extremely well and will even take a couple of toy people on an exciting cruise.

16. Leaf art. Collect leaves and draw around them. This is fun for little ones and an educational tree identification game for older children. Colour in the details with crayons or paints. The leaves could then be stuck on to paper collage style or dipped into paint and then pressed firmly on to paper for a lovely leaf print.

17. Make a puzzle. Stick a favourite picture on to card and allow to dry with a heavy book on top. Cut into pieces, how many depending on the age of the child, for an almost instant and personal puzzle.

Colleen Moulding

OUR UNIVERSE

To begin to measure the immeasurable is from the beginning a hopelessly futile undertaking. But as we try to comprehend things too awesome for our finite minds, let us begin with something familiar: a summer storm. The delay between the sight of the flash of the lightning and the sound of thunder demonstrates the great difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound. In one second, while sound can travel only 300 feet, light can reach 186,000 miles away. It would take sound 36 hours to circumscribe the earth – 25,000 miles – but light, in one second, could make the same journey 7½ times. Keep this concept of the speed of light in mind as we consider the universe and its amazing dimensions.

Our beloved planet, the earth, is one of 9 planets in our solar system. We revolve around the sun, which burns at 20 million degrees F. – a temperature so fierce that if a marble were heated up to the same temperature it would fry everyone and everything in a city the size of Philadelphia. Situated 93 million miles away, our sun provides the perfect amount of light and heat. Its rays, travelling at 186,000 miles per second, take 8½ minutes to reach the earth and cross our entire solar system, 6,000 million miles, in one and a half hours.

Our solar system is an infinitesimal part of the galaxy called the Milky-Way – a swirling myriad of stars estimated at 100 billion. While it takes only 1½ hours for light to cross our solar system, our galaxy is so vast that it would take 100,000 years for light to span the distance from one edge to the other. While our sun is a mere 8½ light minutes away, the next nearest star is 4½ light years from us. The light we see today actually left that star 4½  years ago. If the earth were represented by a sphere only one inch in diameter, that star (Alpha Centaury) would have to be placed 51,000 miles away. And that is the nearest star. In our galaxy alone there are over 100 billion stars. If you counted 250 of them every minute – day and night – it would take you 1,000 years to count them all. And most of them dwarf our sun in size. If our sun were hollow, I million earths could fit inside; but astronomers have discovered a star so big that 500 million of our suns would be required to fill it.

In all its magnitude and splendour, our galaxy with its billions of stars and incomprehensible size, is rather insignificant in the universe. There are actually billions and maybe even trillions of such galaxies in space – each with at least 100 billion stars. The nearest galaxy to ours, Andronema, is ½ million light years away, a distance so great if every man, woman and child in the United States had a library of 65,000 volumes, there would be more miles separating our galaxies than all the letters in all the words in all the books in all those libraries – and that is only the nearest galaxy out of billions. The most distant galaxy that has been discovered is 8 billion light years away, so far removed that it is only one millionth the brightness it would take to be seen by the human eye.

On the clearest night we can see at the most 3,200 stars in the sky, an impressive sight in itself. But consider this: a man looking up at the sky on a clear night sees as much of the universe as a protozoan – a one-celled animal – might see of the ocean in which it drifts. The moon, the planets and the few thousand stars which are visible to him are as a single drop of water in the boundless sea of the universe. Think of it – what we see on even the clearest night is as a mere drop of water in the ocean in comparison to all there is out there.

And consider this: if the distance from the earth to the sun, 93 million miles, could be represented by the thickness of a piece of paper, the distance to the nearest star would be a stack of paper 71 feet high. The diameter of our galaxy would be a pile 310 miles high, and the edge of the known universe would be a stack of paper 31 million miles high, a third of the way to the sun.

If only unbelieving man would lift up his eyes to marvel at the heavens, it would do his soul much good. For staring into the void above him, man faces concepts like infinity and eternity, where science and imagination stand together on the drink of darkness. Then indeed he can but echo the philosopher, Schiller – “The universe is a thought of God.”

And if we are awed by this created universe, how much more should we be awed by its Creator Who by the word of His power, without effort, brought it into existence where once there was nothing.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.”

And this Creator desires us to walk with Him.

Compiled from various sources

How to Demonstrate Creativity

at Home

  • Discovering ways to make household chores fun, such as playing music while working or going out for a treat after the work is done.
  • Starting traditions, creating new games, and finding new places to go on birthdays, vacations, and holidays.
  • Learning to make your own unique thank-you cards.
  • Turning homework into learning games and putting memory work to music.

at Work/School

  • Looking for alternative ways to find solutions to problems.
  • Making wise use of free time.
  • Looking for new ways to influence those around you for Christ.
  • Seeking alternative ways to help you get the job done more efficiently.
  • Asking yourself the question, “How can God best use me to reach others for Christ?”

at Church

  • Looking for new ways to serve others.
  • Searching for practical application from each sermon and Bible lesson.
  • Using different teaching methods in Sunday School – lecture, small group, drama, questions, games, multi-media etc.

Character Definitions of Creativity

  • Learning to complete tasks with greater efficiency and quality. Finding ways to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Discovering practical application for Scriptural principles. (Character Clues Game)
  • Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective. (Character First!)
  • Creative power of faculty; ability to create  (The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary)

Bible Verses Related to Creativity

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorize together as a family during the month. Since the English word “creativity” does not appear in the Authorized Version, we have included a list of verses which relate to this important character quality.

  • Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  • Genesis 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.
  • Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
  • Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. {created…: Heb. created to make}
  • Genesis 2:4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
  • Psalms 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. {right: or, constant}
  • Psalms 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
  • Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these [things], that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that [he is] strong in power; not one faileth.
  • Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.
  • Isaiah 42:5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
  • Isaiah 43:7 [Even] every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.
  • Isaiah 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
  • Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. {come…: Heb. come upon the heart}
  • Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
  • Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {so…: or, that they may be}
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. {he is: or, let him be}
  • Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. {ordained: or, prepared}
  • Ephesians 3:9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
  • Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
  • 1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
  • Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Hymns and Choruses Related to Creativity

 

  • All Creatures of Our God and King (Unknown)
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (Cecil F. Alexander, 1848)
  • How Great Thou Art (Carl Boberg, 1886)
  • I Sing the Almighty Power of God (Isaac Watts, 1715)
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (Joachim Neander, 1680)
  • The Heavens Declare Thy Glory (Isaac Watts, 1719)
  • The Spacious Firmament (Joseph Addison, 1712)

Value even in Garbage

The story is told that as Queen Victoria was touring a paper factory in London, she saw a room that was filled with rags and she asked the guide what they were used for. The guide told her that these rags were collected from the garbage of the city of London and that this was the raw material from which the company’s finest paper was made.

A few days later the Queen received a gift of stationary and as she held it to the light she saw that it had a water mark that bore her image. She realised that this beautiful paper was made from the rags picked up from the garbage of the city of London.

That’s precisely the work that God is involved in. He begins with the raw material. He takes a life that’s worthless and by His grace and mercy He cleanses it and transforms it into something of value that bears the image of Jesus Christ.