I sat on the couch watching Carter remove pillows. He put four into a square shape.
“What are you doing? Can we not destroy the room?” I asked.
If you have kids, you’ve been there.
“I’m making an obstacle course,” he said as he pulled a a blanket from the couch and laid it in front of the pillows. “You start here and then the blanket is hot lava. You need to jump over the blanket.”
It was creativity in action.
There’s a school of thought in education concerning differentiated instruction. You assess a classroom, find the strengths of the students, and try to factor as many into a lesson as possible. Howard Gardner, researcher and Harvard psychologist, has written extensively on the subject.
One of the strengths is kinesthetic, or learning by movement. Carter lives this way on a daily basis and his techniques are ones you can use in your own creative endeavors.
In his book, Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon writes about having a digital and analog workspace. He says to have a stack of pens and tablets available at any point. I started to work this into my daily efforts and have enjoyed the results.
Your movement can be anything from standing by a desk and spreading an outline across the surface, drawing and connecting thoughts. You can head out for a walk or jog, make your way to the gym and hit the weights.
There was an article this week on Yahoo posted about the Four O’clock Caucus, a group of congressmen who met for pickup basketball games on a weekly basis. Besides the fun of the game, they hashed out deals and handled problems.
Next time you are stuck in the beginning, middle, or end, get moving and see what happens. Jump over your own “hot lava” blankets and the creativity will start flowing again.