It’s not that we need children to think outside the box. We need to show them that there is no box.

One of the biggest blockages to creativity in people of all ages is that we are often unwilling to break the rules we set for ourselves. As a result we tend to repeat the way we do things. It worked last time, so let’s do it that way again.

In short, we stop exploring alternative options.

Worse, for children one of the biggest blockages to creativity is that although their minds are full of free-flowing ideas they are worried that their idea might appear to be stupid.

There is a link between these two positions. As children we become worried about being seen as silly when we have an idea that is outside the norm, as adults we continue to play safe.

And so a pattern of thinking which precludes a lot of possible creative and innovative thoughts develops and becomes ingrained.

If we want children to become more creative in their thought patterns and problem solving behaviour we need to give them exercises which will change their whole pattern of creative thought. And that change has to be so powerful that it will last a lifetime.

This is exactly what CRAMES does – it focuses on such aspects of creative thinking as fluency, flexibility, imagination, originality, risk taking, problem solving and evaluation all with a view to overturn single-track thinking and invoke alternative ways of seeing.

So when you ask children to tell you what a finger and a pen have in common, you will find that (probably unlike their parents) they will go way beyond the general shape and the way in which each can be used for writing or drawing. They will in fact take their own ideas forward, without any concern or fear.

CRAMES is a book that delivers creativity by helping children to think in new and unconventional ways. It travels from “What if the sea turned everything it touch, red, forever” to “What if there was no such thing as responsibility?” And then discovers that that is only the first step in the journey.

In five minutes a day, the children will learn how to be creative, and how to think without boundaries.

The contents page, and free sample pages are available on the website.

You can order CRAMES in any of these ways:



What’s the best way to maximise the impact of your Teaching Assistants?

A TA who receives just one day of subject specific literacy training will have a greater impact on young people’s learning outcomes than one who has none. That might sound obvious, but too many committed and inspirational people are employed as teaching assistants knowing they could be doing so much more.

The potential impact is far reaching – not only can TAs have a positive effect on literacy levels and attainment but they are known to also influence behaviour, confidence and attendance.

Of course, any good quality TA training needs to include an understanding of the range of strategies for reading and writing, knowledge of phonics and equip the TA with practical ideas to help young people become independent readers and writers.

That’s why we’re offering this one day training package for Teaching Assistants, packed with vital information that will start to make a difference to their work immediately.

Sue Dixon, founder of Thinking Child, has designed this course from years of experience as a literacy consultant and trainer. She understands what is required on a core learning module and what TAs and schools require from limited time and budgets.

This starter day will include a review of the questions ‘How do we read?’ and include detailed work on reading strategies, including phonics and grammar. The day will end as it began by looking again at the question ‘Why do we read?’

After this one day TAs will feel more confident and become more effective in the school.

Follow up training which looks at ‘Reading into Writing’ is also available. This is where the connections can be explored in more depth and be tailored to the work that TAs are deployed to carry out in your school.

This core day of valuable training can be delivered in your own setting with groups of TAs – up to a maximum of 20. All materials and handouts are included in the package cost of £750.

Individual Training Course places in Northamptonshire are also available in June/July 2013.

To book your course or find out more visit the website

Telephone 01604 491511