How Do You Think Creatively

You can do creative thinking alone or with others. In either case, your goal is to bring something new into existence, such as an idea, an event, a plan, an object, or a process. Creative thinking consists of five stages. Knowing about these stages can help you improve your creative thinking.

Stage 1

Insight: Insight occurs when you realize you need to think creatively about something in your life that isn’t working right. You want or need to do something about it. Insight can come from within. For example, “My study skills improvement” or “My sociology paper is due next week”.

Stage 2

Preparation: Preparation refers to naming or identifying your specific problem and gathering information. Preparation time varies based on available resources.

Stage 3

Incubation: Incubation is the mulling-things-over stage. For example, you may have a researched a paper or project and are now thinking about how to organize all the information and present the topic. What are the main ideas? What important points should be included? What can be omitted?

For scientist, incubation is a period of puzzling over the meaning of new evidence gathered during the preparation stage that doesn’t fit previous explanations.

Incubation time varies from a few minutes or days to many years in some instances. “Sleep on it” is an incubation term. Often when you wake up, you have a solution or an inspiration.

Stage 4

Inspiration: Inspiration often comes in a quick flash of knowing. Suddenly you “see” a way to solve your problem. It’s frequently called the “Aha!” experience. Your inspiration makes you feel good because you realize you can solve your problem.

Inspiration doesn’t produce a sociology paper, nor does it complete a work project. Instead, inspiration tells you how to approach the paper (what the theme will be, what you should include, and the sequence of thought) and how to proceed on your project (calling those who can help, getting the boss’s support, researching additional information). The next step, actualization, actually gets the paper written and the project completed.

Stage 5

Actualization:  Actualization is the heavy-duty work that makes your inspiration a reality. It can be very time-consuming and is often accomplished in long intensive hours of continuous work called massed practice. You get all your research together and work through the process. In school, writing marathons are often called “all-nighters.” At work, getting a project realized means hours of overtime.

The Creative Mind

Creative Thinking means “thinking about thinking in order to bring something new into existence”. This new thing can be an idea, a plan, an event, an object, a book, a play, a research paper, or a process.

It’s important to know that:

  • You are a natural creative thinker because creative thinking is part of being human. 
  • You can improve your creative thinking by learning about it.
  • You don’t have to be artistic to be a creative thinker.

There are lots of ways to think creatively, and you will learn some of them in this section.

Why and When You Need Creative Thinking

You use creative thinking when you need choices for solving a specific problem. Several situations requiring creative thinking are listed:

  • When  something you care about isn’t working out the way you want.

Example: You haven’t found enough reference material for your research paper.

  • When you want to think of ways to deal with bad situations.

Example: You have a flat tire on your way to class.

  • When you to change the way you are doing something.

Example: You are chair of an important committee, and the meetings are too long, are poorly attended, and are inefficient.

Creative thinking and critical thinking are similar. You use them in daily life to assist in problem solving and decision making. Critical thinking leads to creative thinking, and creative thinking leads to critical thinking. For example, your critical thinking tells you that you need to study more to get better grades. Your creative thinking comes up with ideas for increasing your study time. Then your critical thinking selects the best ideas. Finally, your fear of failure drives you to do the necessary work.

Teaching Critical Thinking with The Cognitive Six

On May 14, 2018 Co-Authors and Educators, Louise Loomis, Ed.D. and Tom Smith, M.A.Ed. were featured guests on the online podcast “Distraction”, hosted by Dr. Edward Hallowell .

They had an in-studio conversation about their book, The Cognitive Six: A Guide to teaching Thinking, how it can be used as a tool to teach critical thinking and the essential role they play in meeting this challenge.

Click link to listen to podcast:

S2 Ep 55: Teaching Critical Thinking with The Cognitive Six

The Cognitive Six: A Guide To Teaching Thinking by Louise E. Loomis, Ed.D. and Thomas Smith, M.A.Ed.

Order you copy today by calling  860-232-0891 or send us an email to

Click on link below to order:

The Cognitive Six Order Form


Don’t for get to comeback and leave us a comment about your thoughts about the podcast. Thanks!


Family Life Education Honors Long-time Educator Dr. Louise Loomis

FLE 2015 Gala_Cathy Malloy_ Louise Loomis

On Saturday, September 27, 2015, Dr. Louise Earle Loomis was honored for the Family Life Education’s new project that is nearest and dearest to her educator’s heart, her Children’s Wellness Center. The wonderful event was held at the Hartford Marriott Downtown in Hartford, Connecticut. This year’s Family Life Education gala was all about Dr. Loomis’ contributions to education. The Children Wellness Center aims to help prevent childhood obesity, promote good nutrition and early childhood development. For more information about the Children’s Wellness Center please contact Family Life Education, Inc.  .

Hartford Courant article published on September 29, 2015:



Nurturing Creativity in Children

Serious, organized research on creativity began about 65 years ago, at a time when people thought that only some lucky individuals were creative and that artistic talent was a requirement.

All that has changed! Studies repeatedly show that starting at birth everyone is creative and it comes in many forms. So, now that we know that children are creative, how do we nurture that gift?

  1. Since creativity is inborn, we observe our children carefully to find out what they are really interested in and what they love to do.
  2. We provide them with many age- appropriate experiences to help us determine and develop those interests and passions.
  3. We create environments that foster creative behavior.

For example; Rebecca, now four years old, really loves the two cats that are household pets. She has pretended to be a cat for the past two years. She has developed her own way of drawing cats and shares these pictures and imagined adventures in cards and letters to friends and relatives.

On every visit to the mall, Rebecca insists on visiting the pet store where she spends a lot of time with the little animals. Is Rebecca into cats and pets too much or does she have a natural interest in the animal world? This city girl’s visit to an uncle’s goat farm helped her family decide.

While remarking on the odor, she made no complaint. Instead she proceeded to meet the baby kids, the rabbit, the dogs and the chickens. The latter were of such interest that she insisted on entering their pen to observe them and stayed there happily until lunchtime.

That day everyone agreed that Rebecca had an inborn interest in animals. Now her pretending, her imagining and her drawing are comfortably viewed and encouraged as creative behavior, and her family is thinking about other ways to help Rebecca explore her interest in animals.

Families have the greatest influence on children’s development. For children with difficult home situations, child care providers, teachers, tutors and mentors can be very important. Studies of children who have succeeded under adverse conditions all reveal that the children had at least one caring adult who played an active, consistent role in their lives.

In nurturing the creativity of successful children, adults have probably done most of the following:

  • Respected the children’s opinions and self-expression
  • Encouraged daydreams and imagination, curiosity and questions
  • Given them opportunities to make decisions
  • Enjoyed being with them and rejoiced in their accomplishments
  • Avoided lots of judgement when the children were working on projects
  • Provided skills and information for projects
  • Set appropriate guidelines and limits (e.g. no glue in the living room)

Since all of us are creative, we can use these effective tactics on ourselves as well. So while you are nurturing creativity in the younger generation, get in the act and do the same for yourself! Enjoy the wonderful gift.



The excellent book, Growing Up Creative, by Teresa M. Amible Crown publishers, Inc., NY, 1989, was a very helpful reference for writing this essay and is highly recommended for all who are interested in “nurturing a lifetime of creativity.”

SPARKING STUDENT CREATIVITY by Patti Drapeau is a great book!


Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways to Promote Innovative Thinking and Problem Solving, By Patti Drapeau

You will discover that you are probably already Sparking Creativity in quite a few ways and only need to tell your students that’s what they are doing. You will also discover many additional and varied methods that are easy to use AND you will find the book makes excellent and explicit connections to Common Core Standards. The scholars of creativity and their contributions to education are remembered in this book and that adds to my enthusiasm for Sparking Student Creativity.

Enjoy Your Creativity Workshop

Dr. Louise E. Loomis will be presenting Enjoy Your Creativity Workshop on Saturday, October 18, 2014 for the Minds in Motion Program, at the Greene-Hills School, Bristol, CT.  This workshop is scheduled to run from 2:55PM – 3:55PM.

Come, relax and enjoy your creativity in this workshop. You will engage in three simple and imaginative activities that you will have fun doing later with your own child or children; actually, everyone likes doing them. Paper and crayons are all you’ll need and we’ll provide them!

For more details about Minds in Motion (MIM) Program, visit the Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG) at