A New Year with New Possibilities

It has been a busy time with schools and centers opening and getting started with professional training. It has been wonderful to return to live and onsite Conferences and to be with “real” early childhood educators. As I travel from Amarillo TX, to Florence, KY, and on to Jonesboro, AR, at each conference I was reminded why I went into the early childhood profession. It has always been the teachers and children who gave me the joy and support. People like Jamie, Myra, Kim, Jeanie, Janice, and Joanne who are so dedicated and working diligently to create wonderful places for young children and their teachers. These amazing women have found so many ways to encourage and support their teachers. They have designed and implemented fabulous Conferences, selected books and resources to add to teachers’ professional library, and celebrated each teacher’s accomplishments. They are an inspiration to me and all the others who have worked with them!

For the next few months, I am going to be sending you (in my blog) some ideas that will spark creativity in your young children. These suggestions can be adjusted and tailored to your unique children and their interest. We are going to begin the new school year with some intriguing ways to encourage our children to think creatively, to communicate, and to collaborate with their peers. I hope you will also nurture your own creativity as you observe and interact with young children who have so many ideas, suggestions, and interest.


Creative Spark: Improving a Toy


old teddy bear, or toy, chart paper, and marker


  1. Bring an old Teddy Bear (or toy) to group time
  2. Lead a discussion about how the Teddy Bear may have been used? How was he played with? Who did he belong to? Do you have a teddy bear or favorite stuffed animal?
  3. Ask the children to think of ways they could have more fun with the Bear. Seek suggestions for improving the object.
  4. Write down the children’s suggestions and comments they make on chart paper.
  5. Extend their answers by asking “How would that make Teddy more fun?”


This is an open-ended activity and was inspired by one of EP Torrance’s items for discovering creativity in children.

You can repeat this activity with different objects and gain other unique suggestions. Each time children will generate more ideas and be more willing to contribute as they participate in the process.

All answers are accepted and valued.

This activity relates to increasing fluency of ideas (many possibilities) and problem solving. The children are also communicating their ideas and listen to others.

Share with me:

Share with me some of the amazing suggestions your children identified. Some I thought were wonderful were, “Make him sing”, “Have a shiny coat for him”, “More arms so he could hug better”.


Remember we want to nurture creative thinkers and problem solvers ready for the 21st Century!

Make sparks in your classroom,