It’s a brisk winter morning in Edmonton and a class of bubbly preschoolers have burst into Jasper Room commencing a period of free play. Amid an explosion of drawing, coloring, and play-dough kneading, Cohen and Arthur are building a tower out of colorful wood blocks. Their structure, however, is top-heavy, and it begins to wobble. The pair stops and scrutinizes their work. Cohen dismantles the tower and starts to rebuild. “Let’s put it like this,” he tells Arthur using the biggest blocks to create a solid foundation. Up the tower goes again, this time standing firmly on a solid base.This may not seem like a remarkable activity, kids build stuff and pull it apart on a daily basis. But what Cohen did in revising his construction methods was to engage a two-step thought process known as “divergent thinking.” First, his mind flipped through his knowledge on the geometry of blocks (cubes are sturdy; cones, not so much). Then it generated new ideas for how he might use them (place large cubes at the bottom, instead of on top). Divergent thinking is key to problem solving and is the backbone of creativity, understanding what is, and then imagining the possibilities of what could be. The word “creativity,” in our society, tends to be applied to artistic endeavors. But divergent thinking is an essential part of everyday life, when a toddler figures out that he can climb a strategically placed chair to reach a cookie on the kitchen counter, he has engaged in highly creative problem solving. We all have this creative potential, our jobs as parents and educators is to help children fulfill it. These are the ideas that encompass our planning throughout this past week, we have continued to foster the children’s infinite potential for creative endeavours and have seen some remarkable outcomes in terms of divergent thinking being displayed, a concept that is so easily apparent when observing the children in their play. We hope to continue on this path in the following weeks. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! ?