Free Online Resources for Encouraging Creativity in Gifted Kids

Many gifted students are exceptionally creative, and summer is a great time for them to pursue their interests in art, music, writing, and other areas. If gifted kids don't have access to musical instruments, if there aren't any art museums close by, or if it's just plain too hot to leave the house, they can explore the wealth of free resources available online.

Students who are interested in art can see masterpieces from all over the world with the Google Art Project, which allows them to access works of art from more than 17 international museums. Not only can students go on a virtual tour of the artwork, but they can also create their own collections and view educational videos. With SketchUp, kids can download a program to create their own three-dimensional models.

Aspiring cartoonists can create their own work with Cartoonster, which teaches kids to draw and animate, and origami aficionados can complete the tutorials available at FishGoth.com and other websites. The Smithsonian’s kids’ art page offers information to kids on everything from African facemasks to famous 20th-century American women and also has a large collection of activities for kids, such as creating their own postage stamps and following clues to investigate George Washington’s portrait.

Kids who like music can practice even without real instruments using a virtual keyboard or the virtual instruments available at the San Francisco Symphony's kids' page, which also allows visitors to learn about the various instruments and create their own tunes. MuseScore is another site that offers free music composition and notation software. Kids who already play instruments can get free sheet music from various websites.

Students who like writing and words can learn foreign languages with the help of the BBC's language site, which includes introductory tutorials for French, German, Chinese, and other languages. EdHelper and other sites have tools that help students build their own crossword puzzles, strengthening their language and vocabulary skills. Students with a passion for creative writing can investigate options for publication, such as in kids' and teens' online and print journals (like Creative Kids, Prufrock's magazine by and for kids).

With these and other free resources, gifted kids can expand their creativity and pursue their passions in art, music, writing, and more!