Divergent Thinking

Divergent Thinking In Children: For A Better Environment

The Circle Tales is a series of illustrated picture books and educational activities that encourages children ages 6-10 to think creatively and come up with inventive solutions to the most pressing environmental issues of our time. The series demonstrates how we can learn from nature itself while challenging our concepts of waste and encouraging the continual use of resources.

Through The Circle Tales, we aim to provide hope and inspire wonder, encouraging our children to be part of the solution to protect our planet and fight climate change. Optimism and creativity come naturally to children. Our goal is to channel that positive energy and “divergent” thinking toward innovative solutions rather than weighing kids down with worry or fear. Climate change has become a bedtime story, but far too often it is a scary one.

A study conducted by NASA testing a person’s creative potential to understand one’s ability to become a rocket scientist revealed that as we age our ability to think divergently declines sharply. Divergent thinking is a thought process that explores many possible solutions to a problem or challenge. For example, coming up with twenty different ways to use a paper clip is a way to practice divergent thinking.

NASA’s study revealed that our minds are primed for this type of solution thinking between the ages of 6 and 10. However, as we grow older, we are taught to be convergent thinkers, deriving the single-best solution, and begin to lose our ability to think of more than one way to use a paperclip.

The truth is that now more than ever kids will need to be creative and divergent thinkers to thrive and solve the big environmental problems they will inherit. Each story in The Circle Tales series posits divergent thinking by way of solutions to real-life environmental issues for both kids and adults to consider. While they may not always be the perfect solution to solve climate change completely, the books and the educational activities encourage kids to think creatively and question if they can come up with other solutions.

The series will lay the foundation for young divergent thinkers to consider inventive solutions. The hope is that as these children grow up, they will continue to think creatively about ways to improve the systems and products and industries we’ve grown accustomed to in modern life that have had disastrous impacts on the planet. Eventually, these children will be the ones creating products, running systems, and even developing policies. We hope these stories and activities stay with them, constantly inspiring them to build a better planet. That way, they will continue to enjoy the marvels and magic of nature and live more in harmony with it.