Activities from the “Think Tank” for Primary Children

By Holly B.F. Warren (Atelierista and creator of the Think Tank)

In efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, families across the globe are doing their part and staying home for the health and safety of their communities. While parents continue to navigate educational instruction for their children, finding activities that engage the imagination can pose as yet another challenge that arises with learning-at-home. Below, we have included three primary-aged activities from the Think Tank that we hope will spark curiosity and imagination for children at home.

The Think Tank aspires to create the context for a learning journey that is a mix of explorations, proposals, and activities. These three activities pay special attention to nature and encourage children to discover more about the natural world. Using elements gathered from one’s backyard, these activities hope to inspire children to make incredible creations that illustrate the patterns, colours, and textures that abound in nature.  Additionally, these activities also use the loose parts found around the household and bring new possibilities to what we may consider “waste” in our homes in our ongoing up-cycling vision.

The activities included aim to provide connections and multi-perspectives, both of which are fundamental concepts to the Think Tank. Imagination, magic, and creativity come alive in the limitless potential for discovery in a child.


Using the materials gathered from outside (either from one’s backyard or along a short walk in the neighbourhood), children can create silly and expressive faces just using leaves, rocks, flowers–you name it! Not only is this activity simple to re-create, it encourages children to re-imagine their relationship with nature and nurtures emotional and ecological understanding (To read more about the perspective of Imaginative Ecological Education, click here).

The View From My Window

Through the power of their imagination, children can shape and morph the clouds outside their window into all kinds of different shapes! With the addition of paper and pencil, kids can draw funny faces, animal ears, bendy arms or legs and change the clouds in endless combinations: “The sky is all yours to invent.”

Wacky Plastic Creations

Wacky Plastic Creations from Holly B.F. Warren on Vimeo.

Using empty plastic bottles and a pair of scissors (parental assistance may be required), children can transform the recyclable materials from their every day life into something amazing! Whether utilizing the whole plastic bottle, cut up rings, or even the bottle caps, children can invent wacky creatures with just these simple materials.

What is the Think Tank?

The Think Tank (Warren, 2019) environment is a setting created to celebrate, stimulate, enhance and develop creativity through connections. It is designed by the students and the atelierista/art studio teacher. Initially inspired by Loris Malaguzzi’s educational approach, where the child freely expresses his/her ideas, interests, concepts and theories and sets the ground for exploratory adventures. It has evolved into what the children have described as “the place where your ideas come true.”

To find out more, come join Holly B.F. Warren in her journey with students in the Think Tank projects included below…

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