Sep 7, 2011 2:01 AM by By Gail Belsky
School projects are supposed to tap into your child’s creativity, but if you stick to traditional posters and brochures, it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Exploring different media lets your child express himself in new ways — and really connect with the topic he’s studying. Here are four ideas guaranteed to boost your child’s creativity, curiosity, and learning.
Anything you can glue down you can also dangle — off a mobile. But now your child’s can forget about flat. With mobiles, she can use items of any shape, size and texture to present her topic. Doing a project on the Serengeti? Instead of cutting and pasting photos of elephants that she pulled off the Internet, have her string up plastic ones from the dollar store (you may even have some buried in the toy box). Add a pair of toy binoculars, and a small container of sand, and her presentation takes on a whole new dimension.
Kids use technology and social media every day — for fun, socializing, and expressing their individuality and opinions. Why not use it for school projects, too? The next time your child has a science experiment to document and display, he can create a website, blog about it, or record it and put it up on You Tube (taking any necessary safety and privacy precautions, of course). He can get instant feedback from friends, family and maybe even his teacher!
Spread the News
The First Thanksgiving is ancient history to a child, but writing about it for the local “newspaper” or nightly news report will make it seem like it’s happening today. Buy pre-cut newsprint from the craft store and help your child “lay out” the front page. Or, record her reading the nightly news. She can even dress the part with a store-bought or handmade costume, which can do double duty at Halloween.
Your child is studying weather, and his teacher assigns a project on hurricanes. He could read about them and make a collage of images. Or he can “experience” them firsthand. Have your make up a character that has been affected by the storm. Maybe he’s a weatherman who braves the elements all night long. Or a firefighter who’s out rescuing stranded animals. Your child can tell the story of that character using any medium he chooses: a play or movie, a written diary, a scrapbook, etc. By living through it, your child can know — and show — what hurricanes are really about.
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