In some circles, particularly the mom circles I run in, tech can get a bad rap—especially when it comes to exploring your creative side. After all, we reason, how can our kids get their creative juices flowing if they spend hours sucked into their devices, playing games, chatting with friends, or mindlessly scrolling social media feeds? From that vantage point, tech can be distracting at best and destructive at worst. But that perspective doesn’t show the whole picture. Rather than stifling creativity, when used effectively, tech can help our kids explore their creative side and encourage them to do good things.
Doing the Most Good with Tech
I first noticed the amazing creative benefits of tech when my oldest son started high school. I’m not exaggerating when I say that his digital media class changed his life. He went from an uncertain middle schooler to a tech-savvy high schooler who found his voice through the medium of technology. What began as an interest in creating things digitally has turned into a promising career in music production, graphic design, and photography. And it all started because he discovered ways to get creative with tech.
Studies have found that creativity improves overall health. According to Forbes Magazine, creativity increases happiness, improves mental health, boosts the immune system, and makes us smarter. But can technology really help you explore your creativity? The short answer is yes.
Here are three ways our kids can use tech to get creative and do the most good with their digital devices.
Tech as a Creative Tool
With the help of specialized software, your kids’ devices can become tools for creating something amazing. While there are countless ways to explore your creativity with tech (everything from writing computer code to building something with engineering software), here are some suggestions of software your kids can use to explore their creativity in the fields of music, photography, art, video, and writing.
Tech as a Creative Resource
But you don’t have to spring for specialized software for your kids to explore their creativity. They can try something new through online tutorials. In our house, YouTube was the star as my son learned all he could about writing and producing digital music. By the time he got to college, he was hired on the spot in the music department for his extensive (YouTube-inspired) knowledge of sound systems and recording studios.
Here are a few ideas of creative activities to learn about and try through online tutorials.
- Folding Origami
- Producing Music
- Learning a Foreign Language
And the list goes on and on. Check out this fun list of “50 Amazing Skills You Can Learn on YouTube” by Mental Floss. The ideas are limitless.
Tech as a Creative Idea Generator
Tech can even be helpful if you want to find low-tech ideas for being creative. Even if you want your kids to put down their devices and go do something creative, a quick search on the internet can spark ideas that can keep them entertained away from tech for hours.
Here are a few ideas I found through a quick online search.
- Practice an instrument
- Sing a song
- Refurbish a piece of furniture
- Write a poem
- Color in a coloring book
- Attend a play
- Redesign a room
- Plan a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood
- Create a walking tour of the neighborhood/city where you live
- Put together a puzzle
- Make a time capsule
- Go to the library
- Try a new hairdo
- Write a letter
- Plant a garden
- Play a board game
Get the idea? These suggestions, and countless more, are creative ways to spend a tech-free hour or two.
See Tech in a New Light
Tech doesn’t have to stifle creativity in our kids. On the contrary, when used the right way, it can be the catalyst that will help our kids explore their own creativity. And by exploring creativity with tech, they will find their own ways of doing the most good.