Learning Tip: Design Your Own
By Susan Dichter
Research shows that creative people not only recognize a gap between "what is" and "what should be" but also feel driven to close that gap. And how they close the gap often involves thinking "out of the box" and looking at a situation from a new point of view.
These elements come together in a kid's game called "Design Your Own." The idea is a simple one: to look at the everyday events in your family's life from a new perspective, asking "how could I redesign my house or car or school or grocery store, etc. so that it would work better?"
Suppose you are in a traffic jam and your car feels too small/hot/uncomfortable. How would your child redesign the car so that it was a more pleasant place to be? Add a holder for kids' games (the way cars now come equipped with coffee cup holders)? Change the car's size? The materials? If so, then what else about your world would have to be changed in order (for example) to accommodate a wider car?
Or suppose that a family member notices that your kitchen is not user friendly when two cooks are at work. Ask your child to redesign the kitchen. What can be changed? How? Why?
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk From The Trenches.
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