National Keep Kids Creative Week - Last Week in September


The last week in September brings out the fun during National Keep Kids Creative Week.

Playing house. A make-believe invisible friend. Hand-scooped roads in the sand. Tree fort. Ink doodles on the wall. Mud pies. What do those things have in common? They’re inspired by kids’ creativity.

Organizers say they are concerned that children do not have the opportunities to be creative that they once had. Part of that is because youngsters fill their creative lives with instant enjoyment such as television and video games. Rarely do they get the incentive to create something from scratch. The week is to encourage parents and educators to give kids more opportunities for inventive fun.

HOW TO OBSERVE #KeepKidsCreativeWeek

  • Provide a child with structured downtime such as leisurely observing animals at a zoo.
  • Start a round-robin story with a child – or several at a time – and do not get distracted by technical matters such as spelling or grammar.
  • Watch for strange or unusual newspaper or magazine headlines and create a story from the headline. (e.g. “School Finds New Familiar Voice,” “Saint Leads Hatton Line,” “Airport Gets Grant,” “Dow Tumbles 800 Points,” “Buffalo Attacks Two,” “Police Look for Owner.” – all are actual headlines found in one search.)
  • If your child seems to be addicted to screen time, incrementally reduce screen time and increase time with blank paper and a #2 pencil, or other creative tools.
  • At gift time, provide age-appropriate building blocks to encourage snapping together different pieces – without “correcting,” or “improving” their designs.
  • Enroll in parent and child art classes. Together you can create one-of-a-kind pieces that may inspire your child to more creativeness
  • Let your child catch you in creative moments. Don’t hesitate to answer questions sparked by their natural curiosity. Enlist them to help you, too!
  • Visit the Keep Kids Creative website for a long list of ideas to spawn creative play.

Follow on social media with #KeepKidsCreativeWeek or #KeepKidsCreative.

Educators, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for ideas on how to participate in this observance.


Artist Bruce Van Patter created the holiday in 2003. Van Patter said he created the holiday to encourage people to develop opportunities for children to be creative and reduce distractions from a creative lifestyle.

He encourages parents to foster creativity in their children, “…parents, overwhelmed by the pace of their schedules all too often don’t have time to sit down and help their kids write or draw or discover. They hope the school will pick up the slack.”