How to teach your kids creativity

Kathy Eldon, Founder & President of Creative Visions Foundation, shares advice for parents on how to help teach their children creativity
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How to teach your kids creativity

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I looked up the word "creative" today. The word "creative" is from Old English. It's like a magician or a sorcery, anybody that makes something from nothing. If you want your child to be creative or you want to be creative, you start making connections. You start looking at the world differently. You start seeing possibilities , in that which is around you. You don't need to go to a craft store for that. You can make things out of boxes, oatmeal boxes. I know that sounds like the 50's, but it's really true. I think, sometimes we think we have to have everything organized, so we can do projects; but that is not necessary. The best fun that kids can have, often, is the leftovers, the throwaways, the nonsense that you don't even thing about. We don't even think about the packing cases. Nurture that child. Give them the resources. Give them the space. Get them off the electronics, although, certainly iPads and other things are great tools, but the hands-on is important, as well. It's a different kind of connection in your brain. Mainly, celebrate the mess. I know that is awkward as well, but go for the mess. You will be amazed at what your kids can come up with later in life. I learned the creative process by thinking laterally. It's one of the most useful things you can ever do, is think outside of the box.

Kathy Eldon, Founder & President of Creative Visions Foundation, shares advice for parents on how to help teach their children creativity

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Kathy Eldon

Parent with a Purpose and Founder & CEO, Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Wellesley College and has since worked as an art teacher, television presenter, magazine editor, journalist, media consultant and a television and film producer in Kenya, England and the United States. She has written seventeen books on a variety of subjects including Angel Catcher, a Journal of Loss and Remembrance; Soul Catcher: a Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are; and Love Catcher, a Journal to Invite more Love in Your Life, all published by Chronicle Books. The journals were co-authored with her daughter Amy, who is her partner in Creative Visions, a television and film production company.

Kathy was the Executive Producer of the 1999 Emmy nominated Turner Broadcasting two-hour documentary, Dying to tell the Story, about journalists who risk their lives to do their jobs, which was conceived of and presented by Amy Eldon. In l999 Kathy exec-produced a one-hour CNN documentary, Soldiers of Peace: A Children's Crusade, about the Colombian children's peace movement, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Both films were distributed internationally to over 220 countries. Kathy's company also produced Lost in Africa, a family feature film distributed by Columbia Pictures internationally.

Kathy is currently producing a feature film about her son, artist and Reuters photographer Dan Eldon, who was stoned to death at the age of 22 in Somalia. In May, 2011, Kathy and Amy exec-produced, together with Julia Roberts, "Extraordinary Moms," a tribute to the power of mothers to change the world around them. Hosted by Julia Roberts, the special featured Hillary Clinton, Rosie O'Donnell and Christiane Amanpour.

Kathy edited The Journey is the Destination, a collection of Dan's journal pages which was published by Chronicle Books. Kathy and Amy are co-founders of Creative Visions Foundation, which supports "creative activists" who use media and the arts to create positive change. Over the past 10 years the foundation has incubated more than 80 projects and productions on five continents, touching the lives of more than 10 million people.

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