About This Blog

Off the Page Writing blog demonstrates how preschool and elementary school children can easily make creative thinking a learned habit through reading picture books, creative thinking prompts, and utilizing other resources with adults.

On Wednesdays, posts showcase picture books and how these stories can depict creative thinking. Sometimes games or other materials may be presented.

Past Friday posts are creative thinking prompts or an activity that expands upon a creative thinking principle.


FLUENCY – the ability to generate lots of ideas, verbal or nonverbal (this is not the time to analyze ideas, just write down what ideas come to mind)

FLEXIBILITY – the ability to think of ideas in different categories, to take different approaches to problems, or to view a problem from different perspectives

ORIGINALITY – uniqueness, nonconformity

ELABORATE – the ability to add details to an idea in order to develop, embellish, improve, and implement the idea

BRAINSTORMING – putting aside analytical thinking to think of lots of ideas

There are four basic rules for brainstorming to be successful.

  1. Quantity, not quality.

Lots of ideas are needed. The more ideas, the more you can find an idea that works as a creative solution.

  1. WANTED: Crazy, Wacky, Unusual ideas.

Allow time for brainstorming because during the thinking process, the first ideas are the most common ideas. Once you notice the flow of ideas slowing down, then the unusual ideas start to populate the idea list.

  1. NO Judging

Now is not the time to criticize or evaluate ideas. It stops the flow of ideas and shuts down creative thinking.

  1. Piggybacking is allowed.

Piggybacking means springboarding off someone else’s idea because it sparks an idea within you. When you piggyback, you change someone else’s idea by modifying, combining, taking away something, or substituting something.

PERCEPTION/PERSPECTIVE – looking at one thing and seeing another

IMAGINATION/VISUALIZATION – the ability to see things in one’s mind, to fantasize

ANALOGICAL/METAPHORICAL – seeing a connection between one thing/idea/situation and another thing/idea/situation

SCAMPER – SCAMPER was developed by Bob Eberle based upon Alex Osborn’s creating thinking questions. Alex Osborn is the originator of brainstorming. Scamper is based upon seven creative thinking principles. Each principle views your idea in a different manner. By asking questions related to each principle, Scamper gets you thinking about which areas of your idea you can improve.

S = Substitute:  Remove some part and replace it with something else.

C = Combination:  Join or force together two or more elements of your subject to develop a solution.

A = Adapt:  Change some part so that it works where before it didn’t work.

M = Magnify or modify:  Consider the attributes of the subject and change them. Attributes include: size, shape, other dimensions, texture, color, position, etc.

P = Put to other uses:  Think about your subject – why it exists, what it is used for, what it’s supposed to do. Then think up new and unusual purposes.           

E = Eliminate:  Remove any or all elements of the subject to find another solution.

R = Rearrange or reverse:  Look at the subject from different perspectives. Turn it upside-down, inside-out. Make it go backwards, against the direction it was intended to go or be used. Similar to Reverse, modify the order of operations or any other hierarchy involved.