Here is our creative family fun, activity #5: Go Beyond Your Interest Zone! And if you would prefer to watch the video, click here!

Your Interest Zone

My family and I have a passion for the arts. On any given summer weekend, you will likely find us cheering in the front row of a theatre production, checking out the latest exhibit at an art museum, or enjoying music at a jazz festival.

Exploring our interests and passions together strengthens our relationships and builds domain expertise, which will ultimately help us be more creative within that domain. However, spending almost all of our time exploring the arts could actually limit our creativity.

The Genie of Creativity

Imagine, for a moment, that a genie suddenly appears in front of you and says, “I am the Genie of Creativity. I can boost your creativity by giving you a new experience. The only limitation is that you must choose an activity you are not interested in!”

On the face of it, this might sound like quite a disappointing offer, and you might turn them down. Why would the Genie of Creativity ask you to do something so seemingly counter-productive?

Well, creativity is about keeping open and making connections between seemingly unconnected ideas. Or, as creativity researcher Jonathan Plucker recently stated in an interview with us:

Old Stuff + Old Stuff = New Stuff

The more experiences and “stuff” we have to draw from, the more likely we are to make new and interesting connections. So, by broadening our horizons and exposing ourselves to new things, we can actually become more creative.

The Mission: Go Beyond Your Interest Zone

For this mission, you will need a sheet of paper and some colorful pens.

  1. Draw a circle in the middle of the paper.
  2. Inside the circle, write down all of your family’s interests.
  3. On the outside of the circle, generate a list of things your family knows nothing about.
  4. Select one thing you can go learn about or try together as a family.
  5. Go on your mission! Bonus points if you can find an expert in that area to complete the mission with you!

We would love to hear what you did!  Please share in the comments below.

Dr. Cyndi Burnett is the Director of Possibilities for Creativity and Education. Like her creativity-focused curriculum for students and teachers, Cyndi embraces the creative lifestyle that she teaches. You will often find her trying on new ideas, exploring resources to stretch her thinking, and being an advocate for playfulness and humor. Although she loves to research and write about creativity, Cyndi is a firm believer in field service. She has 20 years of teaching experience as an academic at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State where she instructed classes in creative-thinking and creative problem-solving.

Cyndi is the co-author of the books Weaving Creativity into Every Strand of Your Curriculum20 Lessons for Weaving Creativity into your Curriculum, and My Sandwich Is a Spaceship: Creative Thinking for Parents and Young Children.

Check out more blogs from Cyndi here.

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