Creative Thinking Prompt: Paper Fish

Creative Thinking Prompt: Paper Fish

While thinking about a new story character, I surfed the web looking at images of paper fish. While creating fish from paper isn’t a new concept, I wanted to see what others had done and how that might inspire me.

I discovered Easy Peasy and Fun’s website and The Crafty Mom at YouTube. Using their easy tutorials, I made two fish creations.

A shark bookmark that looks like he is eating the corner of my book.


An accordion fish that looks like it moves.

Use the examples above to inspire your own unique fish creations. What types of fish can you create from paper and glue? Make your fish into storybook characters. Make a paper aquarium for your fish.

Shape Shift

Shape Shift”

Look around. What shapes do you see? You can use shapes to make anything. In Shape Shift, author/illustrator Joyce Hesselberth encourages readers to pair shapes to form new things through the eyes of two characters.

A boy and a girl find shapes. They combine them to make a new image.


The girl sees one thing.


The boy sees something different. What will the reader see?

This book promotes imagination, different perspectives, and discovery.

TITLE: Shape Shift

AUTHOR: Joyce Hesselberth

ILLUSTRATOR: Joyce Hesselberth

PUBLISHER: Henry Holt & Company, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, different perspectives, discovery


1) Cut out triangles, semicircles, crescents, trapezoids, rectangles, circles, ovals, diamonds, and squares. Play with the shapes, arranging them on their sides, upside-down, right-side, and left-side. Combine two shapes together. What does it make? Now combine three shapes. What can those shapes make? Each time add another shape to combine and create a new image.

2) Invent a new shape. What is your shape’s function? How many sides does it have? Name your shape.


To learn more about author/illustrator Joyce Hesselberth, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Lipstick Art

Creative Thinking Prompt: Lipstick Art

Nail art is popular but have you ever thought of doing art on lips? About four to five thousand years ago ancient Mesopotamia, the first manmade lipstick was made from ground precious gems.  Women decorated their lips with this gem dust. Today lipstick still continues to decorate our lips. But did you know it can be used for art?

Animal Lipstick Art by Paige Thompson

Photography via

Photography via

To view more lip art, visit:

People use their lips for many things – speaking, eating, whistling, kissing and painting. Artist Natalie Irish uses her lips to create art.

©Natalie Irish

Jimmy Hendrix

To view more of Natalie Irish’s work, visit:

Interesting Fact: Lips are unique like fingerprints and snowflakes. No two lip impressions are the same.

What can your lips do?

My Heart Is Like A Zoo

My Heart Is Like A Zoo”

In My Heart Is Like A Zoo, author/illustrator Michael Hall writes in rhyme, exploring zoo animals as metaphors for love traits such as steady, happy, and silly. Made from a variety of heart shapes, his animal illustrations further depict the message of love.

“Eager as a beaver.”

“Quiet as a caterpillar wearing knitted socks.”

How many hearts can you count throughout this book?

This book promotes inventive, originality, analogical, and creative thinking.

TITLE: My Heart Is Like A Zoo

AUTHOR: Michael Hall


PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2010


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: inventive, originality, analogical, and creative thinking


1) From construction paper, cut a variety of heart shapes. Combine, arrange and rearrange these shapes to create a new heart-shaped animal. What’s your animal’s name? What part of love does your animal represent? As a group, create a classroom heart book, My Heart Is Full Of Animals.

2) Draw a heart shape. Fill it with heart designs. Cut it out and give it to someone you love.

3) Construct a 3-D heart using only heart shaped cutouts.


To learn more about author/illustrator Michael Hall, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

Artist Guido Daniele paints on a very unique surface. Hands!

He sees a hand as a turtle

Turtle Caretta Caretta – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

and as a tree

Tree – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

and as a turkey.

Turkey – Ph. Guido Daniele

© Guido Daniele

Creative Thinking Prompt: What Else Can A Hand Be?

Brainstorm ideas for what else a hand can be.

Here are a few ideas to get started – a communicator, a language maker.

Brainstorm other unique surfaces that an artist can paint on?

Here are a few ideas to get started – a leaf, a fire hydrant, a kitchen faucet.

Try your hand at painting on an unusual surface. Just make sure that you have permission before painting.

To view Guido Daniele’s artwork, visit:



In Fish, a wordless picture book, a boy and his dog fish for letters, F, I, S, and H. They throw back the letters they don’t need.

When a storm of Bs and triangle sharks attack, the boy loses his fish.

Eventually, they catch the letters they need and head to the race. There’s a surprise ending.

This book promotes original, creative, and unconventional thinking.


AUTHOR: Liam Francis Walsh

ILLUSTRATOR: Liam Francis Walsh

PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: original, unconventional, creative


1) If you could fish for anything in the world, what would you fish for? How would you bait your hook to catch your “fish”? What would you use for bait? What would you do with your caught “fish”?

2) Rewrite the story replacing the letters for numbers. What purpose do the numbers serve that your main character catches? How will your main character use the numbers s/he catches?


To learn more about author/illustrator Liam Francis Walsh, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Invent Your Own Idioms

“Icing On The Cake”

Icing or frosting makes a cake taste better than it would without the frosting. But what does it mean when you say “That’s icing on the cake”? This expression is an idiom. As an idiom it means something extra good is added to something that is already good.

Idioms are expressions that aren’t understood from the literal meanings of the separate words. Instead when those words are grouped together have a separate meaning of their own. For example:  raining cats and dogs doesn’t mean cats and dogs are falling from rainclouds, it means it is raining heavily. Break a leg doesn’t mean break a leg, it means good luck.

Creative Thinking Prompt: Invent Your Own Idioms

Write alternate meanings for these common idioms.

Joined at the hip

Take breath away

Drop like flies

Knock on wood

Write a new meaning for these made-up idioms.

The Icing on the Doughnut

The Syrup on the Pancake

The Ice on Icicle

Now think up your own idioms and their meanings.

To view other idioms and learn more about them, visit:

Tomorrow’s Alphabet

Tomorrow’s Alphabet”

In Tomorrow’s Alphabet, you’ll have to think ahead. Not your ordinary alphabet storybook, author George Shannon takes a different perspective, taking what happens today and showing what it becomes tomorrow.


M is for caterpillar – tomorrow’s MOTH.”


O is for acorn – tomorrow’s OAK TREE

In the back of the book, readers are challenged to create their own tomorrow alphabet. Or try their hand at creating yesterday’s alphabet.

This book promotes discovery, different perspective, and inventive thinking.

TITLE: Tomorrow’s Alphabet

AUTHOR: George Shannon


PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books, 1996


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: discovery, different perspective, inventive thinking


1) Make an ABC list of your favorite sounding words. Your words can begin or end with each letter of the alphabet.

For example, A – apricot B – bumble C – cubic

2) Sing the ABC song in reverse, beginning with Z.

3) Write an ABC poem of your favorite things, using each letter to start the next line of your poem.


To learn more about author George Shannon, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Donald Crews, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create Mandala Art

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create Mandala Art

Creating a mandala can be a form of meditation and relaxation while getting your creativity on. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. They are made using different types of materials from paper and pens to crystals, stone, reused materials, etc. A mandala can be singular or many grouped together as one like the photo below of Suzan Drummen’s mandala.

©Suzan Drummen

Netherland artist Suzan Drummen uses crystals, mirrors and precious stones to make her mandalas. She relies on her sense of space and the light to build her patterns to create her art.

To see more images of Suzan Drummen’s mandalas, visit:

To learn more about Mandala artist Suzan Drummen, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create a Mandala Using Geometric Shapes

Materials Needed:  pencil, marker, protractor, compass, paper

Decide what shapes you would like to use. You can add designs to your shapes as you create your mandala.

Follow these steps at to make your own mandala and to download free mandala coloring pages.

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Seaver the Weaver

“Seaver the Weaver”

Seaver comes from a family of orb weavers who only make round webs. At night Seaver finds inspiration in the stars.

His siblings find his webs too different. But Seaver likes his unique shapes and continues to weave. His webs catch food. When his siblings’ webs don’t attract prey, they ask Seaver to teach them to weave.

This book promotes individuality, following one’s heart, unique, and courage.

TITLE: Seaver the Weaver

AUTHOR: Paul Czajak

ILLUSTRATOR: The Brothers Hilts

PUBLISHER: Mighty Media Kids, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, following one’s heart, unique, courage


1) Look at the stars in the dark night. What shapes do you see? Sketch what you see. Then research constellations to see which ones you saw.

2) What other shapes could Seaver weave? Design what Seaver’s web would look like if he used more than one shape to weave his web.


To learn more about author Paul Czajak, visit: