Creative Outlets

Hey guys!

I’m so sorry I missed posting last week, but I wasn’t actually that far from swirl and spark anyway. I was really busy getting the latest creation up on the site! For those of you watching closely, you may have seen it. 🙂 For the rest of my curious friends, click here.

I’ve been dying to write this post for weeks, to tell you all about it and explain what I’ve been up to besides drafting book 2 of my middle grade series. But since I had no firm launch date of this latest non-book project , I decided to wait until I knew all the pieces were going to fall into place. Now that they have, I can explain…

I’ve been tinkering with the idea of making activity kits for creative type kids for awhile. Some of the activities have taken shape more quickly than others (in both my head and on my laptop), but all of them have been a part of me for the better part of the last few years. If you’re a creative person (like I know most of you are) you probably know exactly what that feels like—to have an idea simmering hotter and hotter until that crazy boiling water overflows. Well finally the ideas for these activities overflowed and started to come together in my mind.

As many of you know, I coached Odyssey of the Mind for years. Well, I guess I loved watching kids creatively solve problems a little more than I realized, because now that I’m no longer coaching my own team, I’ve been determined to create ways for kids who don’t participate in programs like that to develop their own problem solving skills like brainstorming and creative thinking. And so now I can tell you all about my most current creative outlet besides writing: I’m developing a series of Creative Kids Activity Kits.

There are three activity kits in all and they each focus on important themes for kids like teamwork, creative thinking, and problem solving in a fun and challenging way. The first kit went up on the site last week! It’s called the Team Challenge Birthday Party Kit and is the most specific of all the kits because obviously it’s designed to be used in a party type setting. The other kits will be available soon and are designed more generally—for any time use. More details on those  will be coming soon, but for now, if you or anyone you know has young kids who may be looking for a fun and different way to celebrate their birthday with their friends, the Team Challenge Birthday Party Kit might be it.

As a parent of two kids and the host of too many to count home birthday parties, I can tell you that hosting your own party doesn’t have to be overwhelming—not if you’re prepared and have great activities planned. Through the years, I’ve hosted spa parties, princess parties, mystery parties, scavenger hunts, super hero parties, movie set parties, and team challenge parties. The team challenge parties were always the biggest hit with both boys and girls probably because they were so different from anything else they had done at other parties, and because kids really are competitive, especially when they get to be creative!

If you’re so inclined, take a peek at it. I’d love to know what you think, and if you know of a parent who might be interested in using it, please feel free to direct them to the site.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. How about you? And while we’re on the subject of creativity, besides writing, what other things do you do to energize your creative self? Do you dance, crochet, paint, decorate your house…or does writing take up all of your creativity? I’d love to know!

It feels great to check in with all of you. I’ve missed you. 🙂 I hope you’re having a great day. I’ll be sure to check in with you again soon!

 

Jackie ❤

2 thoughts on “Creative Outlets

  1. jdburnswrites says:

    Hi Jackie,

    I love your idea of putting together Creative Kid Activity Kits. Sounds like a cool way for kids to get engaged with something challenging. I’ll second your opinion that the parties kids seem to enjoy the most are the ones where they do something as a team. At home parties are great too because you only have the kids that are invited there – as opposed to one of those “party” places where it’s more like an indoor Lord of the Flies free-for-all and the only thing you leave with is an empty wallet and a dull pain in your stomach from eating too much luke-warm pizza.

    I took a peek at your Birthday kit and it looks like you’ve got some great stuff in there. I was thinking something that might help parents make a choice is a little background on yourself. I know you mention it elsewhere on the site, but on the Birthday Kit page, you should tout your experience as an Odyssey of the Mind coach. You know us parents – we love to hear we’re getting something from a person with credentials, rather than just someone that threw together a bunch of mad-lib sheets.

    I get that you want to stay humble, but in this case I think it’s completely fair to let parents know their getting a kit put together by someone who has a little experience “challenging” kids in a creative way.

    Anyway, keep up the great work.
    All the best,
    JD

  2. swirlandspark says:

    Hi JD, You know me too well! I was thinking about adding in my Odyssey of the Mind credentials on the Bday Party Kit page but I thought it might be too much. I guess you are right though. When I buy something, I like to know there’s something of substance behind it. Thanks for the reminder! BTW, those are my thoughts exactly on having a birthday party at a place other than home. They can be fun, but expensive and full of kid overload. We did a few of those too and…yikes! I love kids but with so many others around, the party didn’t feel special enough for my own. That’s when I started designing my own for use at home:)

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