What Creativity Can Look and Sound Like

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The bird nest making area in the Wonder Room is one of my favorite places to interact and observe visitors. They create, tell stories, and laugh with each other. What does this creative process look and sound like?

For Gail, Neil, their daughter Jill, and granddaughter Anya, the process was playful and experimental. They approached the table with enthusiasm.

“Let’s play with some other stuff” Neil suggested, as he searched through the materials.

Neil started out playing with the reeds, bending them in different ways. He discovered the twist ties worked well to hold the reeds together. Then he wove the twist ties around the reeds, going over and under repeatedly. Some of the reeds broke, but Neil realized the process was “fun no matter what.” He laughed as he showed his nest to Gail. “There’s no aesthetic goodness to it, but it works!”

Granddaughter Anya then joined in and picked up some materials.

“How do I do this?” she asked Jill.

“I don’t know what comes next; you’ve got to figure it out.”

For Jennifer and Lily, the process was collaborative.

Jennifer told me about their nest, laughing “The more I kept adding to it, the worse it became… Lily added the top part.”

She remembered making a nest with different materials earlier in the summer. She found the new materials to be tricky, but provided more structure.

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Jennifer and Lily happily show me the bird nest they created together.

For Helen and Donna, the process was imaginative.

“I’m pretending an actual bird can move in…making it round… for a chickadee or sparrow.” She explained, while working on her nest. “This takes time, like the twist ties. I’m building up patience.”

 Donna was curious about the materials. “Oh, look at this, someone took string and took it apart, that’s a clever idea.”

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Helen and Donna bending the reeds into circles.

These three stories illustrate creativity in three different ways: Being playful and experimenting, collaborating, and imagining. Yet creativity can look and sound different to everyone. There is no right or wrong way to be creative. Come to the Wonder Room to spark YOUR creativity. Try making a bird nest. What will your creative process look and sound like?

– Kelsey Cyr, CMA Visitor Engagement Coordinator