Hey, kids: Are you ready to be creative? (Bigstock)

It’s a new year, full of new opportunities to express your creativity. One way to do that is to enter some of the many contests designed for kids. KidsPost has rounded up several with deadlines in the next few months. So take a chance and express yourself. (Always ask a parent before going online.)

Paint for the planet

What is it? The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is challenging kids to create artwork to “Save the Planet — Save Food.” So get out your crayons, watercolors or pastels and encourage other kids not to waste food in the cafeteria or at home.

Who can enter? Ages 6 to 14.

What’s the deadline? March 15.

What are the prizes? Cash prizes from $1,000 to $2,000 and a trip to a UNEP event for top winners.

Where to find out more? www.thinkeatsave.org/index.php/23rd-international-children-s-painting-competition.

Scientific expressions

What is it? Can you think of a rhyme for photosynthesis? If you like poetry and science, check out Neuroscience for Kids’ annual poetry contest. There are guidelines about the poem’s form, so read the contest rules carefully.

Who can enter? Students in kindergarten through 12th grade, in four grade categories.

What’s the deadline? February 1.

What are the prizes? A book or other prize and publication on Neuroscience for Kids Web site.

Where to find out more? faculty.washington.edu/

Safety message

What is it? AAA Mid-Atlantic, the organization that sponsors school patrols, is looking for illustrated slogans related to safety, such as wearing a bike helmet or buckling up in the car.

Who can enter? Students in kindergarten through eighth grade, in three grade categories. (A related poster contest is for high-schoolers.)

What’s the deadline? February 14.

What are the prizes? In each grade category, Visa gift cards from $100 to $500 for the top three winners. Up to three honorable mentions will receive an atlas.

Where to find out more? www.midatlantic.aaa.com/pga/postercontest.

Talk to Congress

What is it? C-SPAN, the network that broadcasts congressional hearings, wants to know what students think is the most important issue Congress should consider in 2014. Create a short documentary, or a video story, to show why this issue is important to you. Several of the winners’ videos will be broadcast on C-SPAN, so you just might get lawmakers’ attention.

Who can enter? Individuals or groups of two or three students in sixth through 12th grades.

What’s the deadline? January 20.

What are the prizes? Cash prizes from $250 to $5,000 for student winners with additional money for a teacher or school.

Where to find out more? www.studentcam.org.

Christina Barron