In our previous post on this series, we talked about ways to nurture your kids’ creative side using just an iPad, some cleverly-made apps.
Why have kids do creative projects? It gets boring for kids to just do worksheets over and over again; it’s important to have some sort of creative outlet through which they can think critically about what they learn. Creative projects can simultaneously challenge young kids to apply disparate concepts to specific scenarios and also synthesize situations where it could be applicable.
Here are some cool ways to motivate your kids to tap into their creative side:
- Animations with Toontastic (FREE)
Toontastic makes it fun and easy to make short, animated movies.
Project Have them create a film that features a similar theme to what they’re reading in class. For a more mathematically-inclined project, have your students create a film explaining a concept in math with their own words.
Example: Jose is reading Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes for his 3rd grade class. The overarching message he identifies in this book is hope in the face of daunting adversities. He makes a Toontastic relating to a similar situation in his own life.
- iMotion HD (FREE)
If you’ve ever seen Chicken Run or Wallace and Gromit, you’ve likely seen some cool claymation going on. These films are usually created using a process known as stop motion capture.
Project Create a movie about a topic they know a lot about/are passionate about and ask them to connect that topic to something they’re learning in school.
Example: Fourth-grader RJ loves to learn about cars, the different models of cars, racing cars etc. In school, he’s learning about calculating rates. He made a movie in iMotion about the rate at which his toy cars move.
- GarageBand for the iPad ($4.99)
Jazz up their learning time a bit by having them create a song about something they learned.
Project This will probably work best with topics/concepts that might require a lot of rote memorization (like Latin suffixes/prefixes, state abbreviations).
These are just some creative projects you can do with your students or children to get their thinking gears going.
Have any other projects to add? Leave your feedback in the comment form below.
As a child in elementary school, I looked forward most to doing creative projects for class. It’s a lot of fun making videos, writing stories, drawing scenes, coding a simple web site to show what you’ve learned, after all.
Kids today get all the fun with so many cool tools at their disposal to create projects for school, with HD cameras, high-quality mics, iPads, editing apps.
In this part of the series, we’ll go over some ways to tap into their inner writer/illustrator:
1. Use Doodle Buddy (FREE) for brainstorming
As a visual thinker, I normally brainstorm ideas with little doodles and light illustrations.
Doodle Buddy is great for this very purpose: free-hand sketching of story ideas.
Kids can draw free-hand, add text, add shapes, even stamp their doodle buddy creations with clip art if they want to (though why you’d want to do that in a brainstorm session is beyond me, but that’s besides the point).
If they’re working on telling a story through a more motion-oriented medium like an animation, they can use this to create a preliminary storyboard.
2. Use the Writers App ($0.99) to flesh out ideas
Most stories have a few elements in common: a plot (unless you’re a modernist), some characters, a premise, etc. The Writers App makes it easy to organize story ideas with its well-designed interface.
Your student or child can type in the synopsis of the story they’re writing, include the premise of the story, and plan out characters as well. They can be as detailed as they want to be in describing the characters as there are several options (Role, Strengths, Weaknesses, Biography, etc.) in which to flesh out the persona of a character. It’s useful for both aspiring young writers and writers who are a bit more seasoned.
3. Making a story book with StoryBuddy ($7.99)
After they’re done planning out the story, they can finally put it together using the StoryBuddy app.
StoryBuddy is an easy to use app that lets kids make a storybook using the iPad. They can arrange the elements of the storybook to their heart’s content, everything from text to pictures they’ve taken using the iPad camera.
After they’re done putting together the book, they can then share it with their teachers, friends, and other people.