Festive. Season. Shopping. Malls.

If that phrase doesn’t bring back trauma and stress memories, you’re either lying to yourself or the true horror has worn off a little faster than usual after a quieter-than-normal festive season last year.

So: let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

Think crowds obliviously crab-walking. Scary-pushy perfume reps. The deafening racket of Christmas carols and screamy wrinkly turnip babies.

Is it really worth enduring all of that for a few stocking fillers?

Why not get creative and make something to fill your socks instead.

Most children love expressing their creativity at Christmas. From crafting and colouring, to dancing and listening to Christmas tunes; the amount of ways to be creative over the holidays, are endless.

But, why should only children have all the fun?

According to a private healthcare company, Bupa, “it turns out that children are not the only ones who need a creative outlet to explore their imagination. A report from the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG) suggests that having a creative hobby can actually benefit our mental and emotional health.”

If you’re a tired teacher, weary parent or exhausted employee, your first instinct over Christmas may be to do as little as possible. And, of course rest is always beneficial and necessary, especially after a busy and stressful year.

But, by engaging in creative pursuits, you can actually rest your mind, boost your mood and improve your mental health.

How creativity can improve wellbeing

According to an article by Forbes, getting totally absorbed in a creative task “reduces anxiety, boosts your mood, and even slows your heart rate. Repetitive creative motions like knitting, drawing, or writing help activate flow, and are all tasks that create a result.

And when you succeed at creating a result, no matter what it is, your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you. Whether or not you’re aware of your increased happiness, the hit of dopamine you get after being in flow will drive and influence you toward similar behaviour.”

So, whatever it means to you, we’d encourage you to embrace your creativity at Christmas!

How to get creative at Christmas

There are many ways to get creative at Christmas. Simple actions like drawing, knitting, colouring, writing and listening to music are all a great place to start.

Or, you could take a look at creative Christmas events in your local area.

  • Wander along a Christmas light trail
  • Attend an outdoor Christmas event
  • Find a local craft fair or art show
  • Visit a Christmas market
  • Watch a Christmas choir or vocal concert
  • Enjoy a local Christmas carol service

Creativity at home

Don’t fancy heading out? There are plenty of ways to get creative at home. We’re blessed to live in a digital age, with a plethora of online events that you can live stream or watch in the comfort of your own home.

Even watching a film is a way to engage in creativity!

You could cook a lovely meal, do some baking with the kids or friends or even order a paint by numbers kit to brush away outside, under a tree on Sunday afternoons.

Caring at Christmas

Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment. So, why not combine creativity with sustainability and hand make your Christmas gifts this year?

You could forage for cones and leaves in your local park to enhance your gift wrapping. Or, encourage your kids to make Christmas cards to send to family, friends and neighbours.

Many young people don’t have the opportunity to engage in creativity at Christmas, or at any time of the year. You could even compile your own “creative kit” and donate it to disadvantaged young people.

Share your creativity

Would you like to share your creativity with others? You may even inspire them to follow suit!

Tag us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with your #TDACreativeChristmas posts!

Here are a few #TDACreativeChristmas ideas:

  • Christmas cookie and gingerbread home decorating
  • Handmade Christmas cards
  • Homemade Christmas decorations
  • Personally made Creative Kits to hand out to disadvantaged young people
  • Holiday scene watercolour paintings
  • Pencil drawings
  • Serve festive snacks and try out new recipes
  • Handmade Christmas gifts such as jewellery, knitted items, candles, recipe book, photo frames, coasters, snow globes, etc.

From your Think Digital Academy team, we wish you a very merry, and creative, festive season!

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that humans are flexible and have the ability to cope with abrupt changes. What certainly helps, is having the skills to adapt to these changes, even in the most challenging circumstances.

In recent months, online learning has grown in popularity, greatly aided by the rapid development of technology and sophisticated learner management systems for the delivery of education. Think Digital Academy can attest to this.

Businesses have, where possible, moved to remote work; schools have by necessity embraced distance learning; and many college students who had formerly been enrolled in on-campus courses, now find themselves learning online.

For those already learning online, keeping the doors of learning open, came without any challenges. Embracing the change to digital learning carries many positive benefits.

Parents and tutors with children who are learning online have found that digital learning has had a long-term positive impact on their children, who have also become more resilient to challenges in general.

Online learning is defined by students’ access to various learning materials from the learning management system (LMS), engaging in online discussions, and having virtual classes.

The advantages of online learning

Acquiring IT skills
A definite benefit is acquiring the skill to use technology effectively. Further education programmes and certainly the majority of employers, require candidates to have anything from basic to advanced IT skills. Exposing students to a range of technology within the digital classroom can give them a competitive advantage.

Flexible learning hours
Another benefit to learning online means that students have the ability and opportunity to choose their own learning hours. This is particularly useful if they have other sport or cultural commitments and have to study according to a different time schedule. If they’re early risers they could start learning at the crack of dawn or, if they are night owls, they can start learning in the afternoon and finish late. As a result, online learners can take full advantage of the situation by enabling worldwide, self-directed learning.

Flexible learning environment
With a laptop or mobile device and Wi-Fi, students can manage their own learning from just about anywhere. Another great benefit is the possibility of working from a remote location. Even if a student lives in a rural village far from educational institutions, they can still benefit from attending an online “private” school. Where students need to travel as high-performance athletes, they can do so with online learning, as they do not need to be physically present — all they require to continue learning, is a device and a reliable internet connection.

Tracked progress
Some learner management systems such as the Think Digital Academy platform facilitates online learning and allows parents and tutors to save information easily and access it whenever they log in. This kind of automatic organisation allows the parent or tutor to focus their time on aspects that require more attention. This also allows the parent or tutor to track their student’s progress and easily identify problem areas.

Flipped classroom
Perhaps the biggest benefit to online learning is this — teachers still play the most important role in the learning experience. Technology cannot replace the role of the teacher, but it does lend itself as a very useful tool for enhancing the experience of the student through the use of interactive lessons with videos, animation and quizzes. Think Digital Academy has incorporated the benefits of private teachers who are subject experts, while developing the skill of critical thinking.

When evaluating the different e-learning options for your child, it is essential that:

  • the content is engaging and interactive;
  • students are guided through their subjects by online teachers;
  • students can engage with their subjects through assignments and projects;
  • students receive electronic feedback on their learning;
  • students have platforms on which to interact and collaborate with each other such as online chat rooms and discussion forums;
  • there is a way in which parents can monitor their child’s progress.

Based on these criteria, select an option that will ignite a drive for life-long learning in your child. Ultimately, we are at the cusp of an exciting transformation in our education sector, one that will revolutionise the learning and teaching environment, and change your child’s education for the better.

Free trial

Enrol for our free trial to explore our e-learning environment.