But he knew that creativity wasn't magic. It was, he said, "One percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration."

Your child may not turn out to be an Edison. But these tips will encourage your child's creativity. And who knows? Your child might someday build a better mousetrap!

1. Help your child come up with a list of problems that need a solution. They might be problems your child faces or problems faced by a family member or a friend. Some children may want to list national or world problems.

2. Have your child choose one problem from the list. You can discuss other problems, but one at a time.

3. Brainstorm solutions. Have your child think of as many ideas for solving the problem as possible. List everything no matter how silly it may seem.

4. Have your child choose one solution to try.

5. If there's a problem, ask questions that may help solve it. (Say, "How can you fit these two parts together?" instead of, "I think you need some glue.")

6. Keep the activity fun and relaxed.

Just a little encouragement can motivate your child to see problems as stimulating challenges, and to learn to use creativity, too.

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