All posts by AnnKelley

Creative Thinking Prompt: You Are The Storyteller: A Coloring Story

Creative Thinking Prompt:

You Are The Storyteller: A Coloring Story

Collect several different coloring books. With an adult’s permission, tear out pages that spark your interest. Color these pages. Combine different mediums such as markers, colored pencils, and ink. Remember it’s okay to color outside the lines. Next embellish these pages with textured 3D objects such as ribbons, buttons, glitter, etc. Once your pages are complete, organize them in such a way that they tell a story. Tell your story to others. You are the storyteller while your pictures are the visual story.



In book, readers discover why books are anything but ordinary.

Look closer, closer, CLOSER.

Readers will lose themselves within the worlds of the whimsical illustrations and warm storytelling. Come read and see for yourself. What worlds will your imagination take you to?

This book promotes imagination and discovery.

TITLE: book

AUTHOR: David Miles

ILLUSTRATOR: Natalie Hoopes

PUBLISHER: Familius LLC, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, discovery


1) Build a fort or a chair from piles of books.

2) Create a make-believe world that you would like to visit.

3) Visit your local library.


To learn more about author David Miles, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Natalie Hoopes, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Design Your Pool

 Creative Thinking Prompt: Design Your Pool

In the dog days of summer, wouldn’t it be great if you had a pool that had everything you wanted? Design a pool that fits your style.

Here are some pool designs to inspire you.

Think Deeper: What else can your pool be used for besides swimming?

Beard In A Box

Beard In A Box”

In Beard In A Box written and illustrated by Bill Cotter, a young boy wants to be just like his dad. He determines that Dad gets his awesomeness from his beard.

He needs a beard, too.

He follows the 5 step program: picks a style, plants seeds, waters, does face exercises and then… Step 5: Wait 10-15 years. UGH!!

Then things get worse when his dad shaves off his beard. Double UGH!!

In the end, Dad shows his son how to be awesome.

This book promotes imagination, humor and creativity.

TITLE: Beard In A Box

AUTHOR: Bill Cotter


PUBLISHER: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, humor, imagination


1)   Design a new beard style.

2) Brainstorm a list of words that you associate with awesomeness. From your list, pick one word to describe your dad and one word to describe you. Combine these two words to invent a new word. Use this new word to write an acrostic poem about your relationship with your dad. (You can also use this exercise with others that you love even your pet.)


To learn more about author/illustrator Bill Cotter, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Candygories Art Game

Creative Thinking Prompt: Candygories Art Game

I love playing games. As a kid, I refused to read the game rules. Instead I tried to figure out how to play the game on my own. If the game eventually got too easy, I invented my own rules for more challenge. Today, I created Candygories, a combination of the game Scattergories and food art.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-6 players, ages 5 and up


  • Gather together a mix of assorted candy, marshmallows, pretzels, chocolate chips, assorted cereals, and assorted different sized crackers. If you’d like, you can add other food.
  • a timer or something that can track 2 minutes
  • paper and pencils
  • a list of categories


  • As a group, make a list of 15 categories such as zoo animals, ways to get to school, pets, things that grow, etc. Write categories on separate slips of paper and fold up. Put these slips into a hat or bowl.
  • Place the assorted food in the center of the circle where everyone can reach it.
  • Choose who will go first. The first player picks a category from the hat, reads it out loud and then starts the timer for two minutes (or if you want to extend the time, you can).
  • Each player will create an object from the chosen category using the food supply.
  • When time is up, write down what you think each player created. Then each player takes a turn with their guesses. A point is given for each correct guess to the player whose creation was guessed correctly.
  • Take turns by going around the circle. When it is the next player’s turn, s/he will select a new category from the hat.
  • The player who gets to 15 first wins.

Flight School

Flight School”

Little Penguin has the heart of an eagle but he isn’t made to soar. He goes to Flight School to learn how to fly.

“Penguins just aren’t build to fly,” said Teacher.

Sad Little Penguin readies to leave school but his friends have an idea.

With some technical help, Little Penguin flies.

This book promotes individuality and passion for one’s dream.

TITLE: Flight School

AUTHOR: Lita Judge


PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, perseverance, passion for one’s dream


1) The old saying goes “Birds of a feather stick together.” But Little Penguin didn’t stay with his flock. He decided to pursue his dream. What’s something you aren’t old enough to do (that is safe) that you really, really want to do? How might you persuade a grown-up that you are ready?

2) Using colored craft feathers, make a rainbow creation to remind yourself to pursue your dreams no matter how challenging.


To learn more about author/illustrator Lita Judge, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: What’s That Smell?

Creative Thinking Prompt: What’s That Smell?

Brainstorm different types of smells. From your list, choose 20.

With an adult, walk around your neighborhood or town sniffing.

Give yourself a point for each smell you find on your list.

Think Deeper: Create a symphony of smells. Pretend you are a songwriter. How would you use smells to create a song?

Willy’s Stories

Willy’s Stories”

Willy’s Stories is written and illustrated by British Children’s Laureate (2009-2011) Anthony Browne. Each day Willy walks through these doors and something incredible happens.

Each of the ten stories begin in such a way as to disguise a well-known classic story, inserting the reader into a new story and then having the reader continue the story.

At the end of the book, the ten classic tales are revealed.

This book promotes imagination and originality.

TITLE: Willy’s Stories

AUTHOR: Anthony Browne, British Children’s Laureate 2009-2011

ILLUSTRATOR: Anthony Browne

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2014


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, originality


1) Pick a classic tale. Rewrite the beginning of this story. See if your friends can guess what classic tale it is.

2) Create your own fairy tale. Combine characters from two different classic stories and put them together in a story.


To learn more about author/illustrator Anthony Browne, visit:

Creative Thinking Prompt: Snow Words

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create Your Own Snow Words

Many countries have different words for different types of snow. To date the Sami culture  of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Russia, are known to have 180 words to describe snow while the Scottish have over 413 words for snow.

Skelf – snowflake (Scotland)

Snjór/Snær: Snow (Icelandic)

Ciegar: Snowfield which has been trampled and dug up by reindeer (Sami)

Lappvante- thick falling snow (Swedish)

Aputi: snow on the ground (Inuit/Yupik)

Creative Thinking Prompt: Create Your Own Snow Words

  1. Brainstorm different types of snow. Spark your imagination by looking at how other countries and cultures view snow.
  2. Invent 10 new words to describe different types of snow. Notice how your words sound and look. What if you used marks above vowels, how would that change the sound of your words?
  3. How would people unfamiliar with your language learn your new language?

For extra fun, experiment by making snow playdough using two ingredients.


Equal amounts of each:


Unscented Lotion


Glitter and/or a drop of Peppermint Extract or Oil

SNOW PLAY DOUGH RECIPE 2 using baking soda and hair conditioner:

Where’s the Baboon? A 2-in-1 Book Game

Where’s the Baboon? A 2-in-1 Book Game”

If you love word games and riddles, you’ll love Michael Escoffier’s and Kris Di Giacomo’s Where’s the Baboon?

“Who made this painting?”

“Who is having a birthday?”

Illustrations provide context clues and the colored letters help to answer the questions.

This book promotes imagination and discovery.

TITLE: Where’s the Baboon? A 2-in-1 Book Game

AUTHOR: Michael Escoffier

ILLUSTRATOR: Kris Di Giacomo

PUBLISHER: Enchanted Lion Books, 2015


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: imagination, discovery


1) Create your own hidden word game and play with a friend.

2) Take one of the words from the story and invent a new animal based on the remaining letters. For example: if the word is headmaster, the hidden animal word is hamster, the remaining letters are e, d, a. Use these three letters to invent a new animal. Pick three traits from your favorite animal to help create your new animal.


To learn more about author Michael Escoffier, visit:

To learn more about illustrator Kris Di Giacomo, visit: