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Create Kits - Encouraging Discovery and Exploration

Children gain creative confidence through positive reinforcement. Using these creative challenge kits together as a family, parents can curate opportunities for creativity and learning, while encouraging discovery and exploration.

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The ultimate goal of Create Kits is to encourage parents to practice creativity and learning on a regular basis with their children. From a young age kids will learn to think creatively and critically. Within this safe learning environment, they will see that there's no such thing as creative "failure", only a step towards new discovery, and that anyone can be creative if they want to be.

By encouraging children to practice their creativity on a regular basis, we can help them to can gain confidence in their creative abilities, and throughout these explorations they can discover what type of creatives they might be later in life. 

With Create Kits, parents facilitate interactive projects that encourages all types of creative exploration - from painting and drawing to science and engineering. The projects can be completed using supplies found around the house or neighborhood so that anyone can be creative without having to purchase specialty items. 

Create Kits encourage the kids to put away the video games and spend a Saturday discovering color theory through autumn leaves or an afternoon building a seismically sound pillow fort.

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UPDATE 2
We had a wonderful brainstorm session last week. Many thanks to the inspiring and thoughtful people who took an evening to contribute to this idea. I am going to summarize some of the content that was generated during our session, and also interweave how this relates back to some of the excellent feedback we are receiving in the comments below.

- These kits need to be about allowing the kids to find creative solutions to interesting problems, rather than the kits being complete questions plus answers at the same time. They will be most successful when it's open ended - solve a question with any materials found, or use specific materials to solve an open-ended question - but never both. For example, create a rainbow using things you find in nature. Conversely, use these five specific materials to build the tallest tower compared to your friends.

- We debated at length whether the kits should be online or physical and the consensus was that it could be a hybrid solution. The kits could exist in an online database that is accessible to the kids and parents whenever they want a project, but there can also be a subscription program where parents or communities can request a physical kit to be delivered for a fee if they want extra special projects or if they want projects with materials provided. One person in the brainstorm and someone in the comments suggested a platform similar to Tom's with a one-to-one donation structure, so that if a parent purchases a kit, we could send a kit to a community/family that might not have otherwise afforded it. Also, perhaps the kits are only delivered monthly but the database is available anytime supplementally in between. If families can't subscribe, we can recreate the excitement of a delivery with a custom project of the month emailed to them based on customized preferences and feedback at the end of their projects. We loved the idea of offering a custom suggestion to keep them interested and engaged as they continue to learn about a creative topic.   Regardless, we all agreed that regular post-project feedback is very important to help us keep up with how successful the kits are, and to evaluate project quality. 

- We briefly touched on the idea of themed kits, such as a detective kit, or a great outdoors kit, if kids want to try something super specific. This would be part of the physical subscription that might arrive with special supplies to make it extra engaging.

-  Creating general project guidelines is a good way to ensure that projects are consistent in such a way that creativity can thrive while parents remain in control of facilitation. So for example, We never ask parents to track down more than 5 supplies, projects should generally be completed in less than an hour (?), there are never more than 5 steps for parents to push forward. While the idea of these limitations might feel stifling at first, we want to consider the feelings of parents so that they are always eager and willing to run these projects regularly. If we make the projects too complicated or stressful, parents will be less likely to encourage their kids to try new projects. And just like any brand, it's good to have guidelines for consistency that people can recognize and count on.

- We discussed barriers and difficulties with getting these projects out to low-income families. We tend to take for granted how much the internet assists with marketing new ideas. It will be a real challenge to get this idea out to low-income families  or global communities  without internet. We thought that a great way to get this project into the hands of families and communities could be through the programs that provide other supportive services for the kids - such as in the US: Big Brother/Big Sister, CASA, Red Cross, United Way, SNAP, Medicaid, or globally: Global Children Foundation, ACEI, KinderCare, GPE Fund, etc. 

- We chatted about other collaborative opportunities that could grow out of this idea, such as creative penpalling with global friends developed through the online forum, creative story co-writing across the planet, etc. 

- Ideas for beta projects to prototype that don't require initial materials but are fun to test and photograph - (1)  Madlibs – Fill in the story of getting to mars (presupplied) – NOW WHAT - either draw your story / build your spaceship home using 5 materials found around your house  (2) build a device using materials from around the house that keeps an egg from cracking after an eight foot fall  

CREATE KITS ELEMENTS FOR ENGAGEMENT
When building a new mobile app or website, one should always develop a user journey. This involves considering how someone accesses information and then structuring the user experience by building out from the known to the unknown. I would like to cite boxesandarrows.com for an excellent introduction the user journey, which I have reappropriated for my guidelines for success. ( http://boxesandarrows.com/an-introduction-to-user-journeys/). I am using their suggested "hooks" for content engagement as guidelines for success.

- Actionable Content - all projects should inspire the kids to create something unique and original. The directions are easy to follow but are open-ended and can result in an unlimited number of creative solutions.

- Visualizations - kit instructions include drawings or graphics that assist the kids in getting started with their projects. They shouldn't be so specific that the kids are lead to any specific conclusions, but they should help to clarify confusing parts of the process.

- Capturing the process - we should encourage the kids to keep track of both their process and their final deliverable. There would be space on the forum for them to easily share photos and drawings of their creative thinking.

- Obstacles to success - Consider addressing any barriers that might upset or confuse the kids during the process and encourage them to work around them in their own ways.

- End Goals - Remind the kids that the end goal, when all is said and done, is to be creative. The final reward is enjoying themselves while interacting in new ways and it's the journey through the process that is valued over the final product.

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UPDATE 3
Further exploring the User Journey, I wanted to touch on the key moments that the parents and/or kids might need to come into contact with the kits in order for the product to succeed.

- Awareness & Distribution - Local/International organizations suggesting the kits to families, communities and clients as a way to increase kid's creativity; organizations providing them to communities/schools/libraries; big brothers, big sisters using kits during mentorships;  one-to-one model as families subscribe to physical kits low-income families get a kit

- Purchasing - through website or perhaps catalogs available in schools; libraries in remote communities could keep kits that are available on loan for families to borrow and return (though potentially only certain kits would have reusable supplies so we'd have to think in advance about this)

- Play - Kids would receive everything they needed to complete the creative exercise within the kits, whether it's simply the instructions downloadable from the website or a physical kit packaged with tools and materials to assist in the process.

- Share - We encourage kids to utilize online platform by sharing images of their process, including photos of themselves creating and of their final creations; we encourage parents to reach out and support each other in the process so that there is a global network of families encouraging creativity for their children, offering tips & tricks and answering questions as they arise

- Evaluate and Grow - always improving and growing, we would have the kids fill out surveys and feedback on the kits after each use. This is to ensure that we improve upon the kits each time we output but we could also use the feedback to customize kits for the kids in a subscription format.

*New* Refinement question: What will the future look like with your idea in it?

So many kids dream of being firemen or the president or a princess when they grow up. These are fine goals but they are abstract dreams based on idolizations. I imagine a future where kids have explored creatively from a young age and discovered their interests and passions - they no longer have to dream in the abstract and they have found what they truly want to do when they grow up through trial and error. I imagine a future of highly inspired creative entrepreneurs who aren't afraid to fail because they started exploring and trying new things from a very young age. We will have a world of confident, excited doers who go directly out into the world to execute their dreams. And it's ok if they still want to be firemen when they grow up, but they've also found that they love to draw. Or they discovered that they love to build things and they honed their skills in engineering when they were young and our future has some of the most specialized and concentrated generation we've ever seen because they've taken the time to get to know themselves.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

Ideas for initial projects might originally be sourced from schools and students. We would gather feedback from students on their favorite projects and how they gained creative confidence through participating in these activities. Classrooms could collaborate in video tutorials for the website.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

It would be wonderful if after the initial launch of a solid Create Kits database, the projects could open to a crowd sourced platform. Kids could load creative project ideas that they invented or tried themselves in school and would like to share with other people. People from anywhere in the world could load a project idea, and this would generate an extremely dynamic database of project ideas that represent what creativity means to kids around the globe. There is also something very rewarding for kids about sharing creativity when they feel comfortable, so Create Kits could have a gallery where kids could share their process and end products with each other, connecting through their creativity on a global level.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Prototyping this out and seeing exactly what is included in the kit would be very helpful - would it be best if it's just a document that is downloaded with instructions and a list of supplies that anyone, anywhere could use? Or would it be more rewarding if an actual kit arrived in the mail with interactive items that genuinely inspired creativity? I'd be interested to hash this out. I'd also love to connect with a programmer who could help with a potentially open-platform database.

Evaluation results

12 evaluations so far

1. How well do you feel this idea could inspire young people to cultivate their creative confidence?

Really well – feels like this idea would kickstart creative confidence in young people everywhere - 41.7%

It's getting there – but it seems to need further work to really inspire creative confidence - 50%

I don't think this idea would significantly inspire young people's creative confidence - 8.3%

2. Does this idea have enough momentum behind it to successfully spread and scale to diverse groups of young people globally?

Absolutely – it's inspiring, engaging and I'm sure young people everywhere would be excited to participate - 16.7%

Maybe, but we'd need to figure out more details to really help this idea get adopted more widely - 66.7%

Nope, I don't see this idea having global appeal for diverse audiences of young people - 16.7%

3. Does this idea show potential for lasting impact on generations of young people and their creative confidence?

This idea seems to have staying power and could impact young people for years to come - 18.2%

I think there's potential for lasting impact but it's not totally clear what that would look like - 54.5%

It feels like this idea is more of a short-term solution that may not last into the future - 27.3%

4. Would this idea appeal to young people who are already creatively confident as well as those who are not?

Absolutely – it would be appealling and accessible to young people of all creative levels and abilities - 41.7%

Probably – but young people who don't consider themselves very creative might need a little extra support or coaching - 50%

Not really – this idea is really best suited for young people who already see themselves as creatively confident - 8.3%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

It rocked my world - 50%

I liked it but preferred others - 25%

It didn't get me overly excited - 25%

64 comments

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DeletedUser

I think that the design of these kits should be focused on a goal or outcome with many different solutions. I think that if kids are presented with a goal, but are offered no specific way to tackle the challenge of getting to that goal, they will be able to apply their creativity naturally.

I think that activities like this brought out my own creativity growing up. For example, when tasked with the challenge to drop an egg off of a roof and prevent it from cracking with a random set of materials, I remember all of the submissions were all over the place. Some people made parachutes, some made padded bottoms, and some just wrapped it up with several rolls of tape. It's challenges like these that give kids a problem to solve, while allowing them the freedom to create the solution themselves.

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Daniel I LOVED this challenge growing up! I would definitely include this project in the kits. Thank you so much for suggesting it!! It's a great example of kids finding a unique creative path to solve a problem. There's no fixed outcome, just a solution.

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DeletedUser

I definitely think the kits should be kept as physical kits. This way, the idea can be spread globally, and not just to developed areas with internet access. By keeping materials simple and solutions open-ended, kids around the world can use these and express their creativity. I find that when a classroom of students is presented with a set kit, all their results turn out similar. However, when given materials with no set instructions, their imaginations run wild.

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Thank you for the great feedback Priya! I totally agree.

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DeletedUser

Several leaders today have come out saying that all kids should learn coding. It is an essential tool for future employment and really helps build the brain. An online kit would thus be a great gateway for kids to enter the online world, if they haven't already done so.

This could however alienate low-income families who cannot afford laptops or tablets.

Photo of Alaine Newland
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True on both points. Making these kits accessible to families without digital access has been a focus for us in this challenge and I dont think we've fully solved it. We've thought about having kits accessible through community libraries or schools, or delivered physically in a one-to-one charity system. Regarding coding in a purely computer access, this is a unique challenge and I'm interested in your thoughts on how we could inspire and teach such a useful and inspiring skill on a global level.

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DeletedUser

I think online downloadable will be more effective. As physical libraries are reduced in sized, closed down, they will not be as accessible for kids to obtain the kit. A downloadable is more convenient for parents and provides a quicker access. I think it should be simple enough thought that kids themselves can print it and utilize them.

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Thanks for the feedback Joselyn. The idea of keeping it simple enough for the kids to drive the project themselves is definitely a priority. We are also looking to find a solution that allows kids without internet access to enjoy the kits. Would love your thoughts!

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DeletedUser

Hi, Alaine!

I absolutely love this idea, but I agree that there may be some struggle in implementing this concept in impoverished countries. What if Creative Kits partnered with another business to provide these kits to children in need/those without internet access? Much like Toms shoes donates a free pair of shoes for every pair bought to a child in need, if Creative Kit's business model permits, this is an idea that could be easily implemented.

Thanks!

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Priyanka, this is a great idea and it actually came up in our brainstorming session. Thank you for adding support to the concept with your feedback!

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DeletedUser

New link to the "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches" document! This one should work, fingers crossed:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_wsTrSxUjAYdEYwOGZwbDAwZ2s/edit

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Thanks Mandy!

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DeletedUser

Being creative and using kits seems to bring to mind conflicting ideas. To me, kits have the idea of structure and conformity where as creativity requires a more wide-open approach. There can be no "color between the lines" approach.

Photo of Mel  Day
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This brings up a really interesting point—the tension between rules/structure and creativity. Mulling this over realized that we are parents with young boys, and consider ourselves to be 'creative'—yet a creativity "starter kit" seems really appealing. In the inspiration phase we saw examples of how creativity was actually boosted by some parameters—not necessarily by being wide open (see many conceptual art works for example). In fact, sometimes being wide open is prescriptive and daunting in itself. Families can also get tapped out and could use a little inspirational boost themselves—a little creative 'assist!' Can imagine this being as simple as interesting materials and a challenge question. Really love the idea of being able to sign out kits from the library. Could be a great way to encourage and extend interaction with grandparents and other relatives as well. Creative starter kits that encourage you to play intelligently/ experiment with the materials at hand together... something that augments DIY.org in physical form. Or that augments Maker Fair in some way. This would be SO helpful to us as a family. There is the potential for reverse mentorship between kids and parents here. This idea resonates and seems important and valuable to us as parents...

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Mel+Frank, I really appreciated this insight and feedback, thank you. I think walking would be both the challenge and the magic of the kits. Also love the idea of the reverse mentorship. Amazing how much we can learn from kids, especially when we're paying attention.

Photo of Yann Hirlimann
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great Idea! I hope these its will be around soon. I recommend the book "how to be an explorer of the World" by Keri Smith. It' a great resource for simple ideas.
I am working in Senegal with ImagiNation Afrika (imaginationafrika.com). We have now started some imagination labs an having such a tool to spread around the country would be interesting. However as Arpan Amin said, the kids should be very simplified and not become a manual for creation. I think that the feed back that you got clearly states that. Also, the chalenges, kits should enable kids to choose many means to create. I'm afraid that if you start sending tools with the kits, you will reduce the filed of opportunites for children to create.

I hope to see your kits online soon and have a chance to test them here!

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Yann, Thank you for your positive feedback! It's great to know we have an outlet for beta testing if/when the kits are developed that far.

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DeletedUser

I really like these idea, but i think that you should keep the kits as a physical thing. Also the idea of bring the kits to low-income families is great!!

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DeletedUser

Hi Alaine,

Congrats on the fantastic submission!

I just wanted to let you know that I created a document, which could be called Volume I, regarding grants. I've been having a difficult time posting it/uploading the google doc but I do have a link on my profile page for: "Grant Writing - Advice from the Trenches".

You should be able to access the link on my profile though I believe it brings you to my google drive. . .but it's there for you to peruse! Hopefully, it will help you secure some funding for your awesome program!

Best,
Mandy

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DeletedUser

I like the kit idea, however, I think it is important to keep them as very creative and open ended kits, not instructional like lego sets or other play sets.

The creativity should come from making anything you want - not following instructions.

Other than that, great idea!

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DeletedUser

Alaine, I love that your idea is so simple and easily accessible for all. Just as a personal preference, I would definitely keep this as physical kits. I think there is something magical about compiling things around the house that you already own into something creative. I think that was the beauty in your idea.

In terms of activities I found creatively challenging as a kid, I always like the games where teams were competing against each other to build the biggest or tallest something given very minimal supplies. For example, building the tallest tower out of paper and tape.

Hope this helps!

Photo of Kağan Rüstem
Team

Hi I really like the idea. The idea of kids creating for other kids I think is great, but how will the quality be assessed for suitability? Also please take a moment to look at my concept. Thanks

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
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Hi Alaine. I like your concept. Congratulations! Do you have a prototype in mind? Are you looking for prototyping ideas?

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DeletedUser

What I love about this idea is the potential to involve kids in the act of creating kits for and teaching other kids. There's nothing like teaching something to someone else in order to really understand what it is you're doing (in this case, being creatively confident)!

You brought up the decision regarding whether to offer a mostly online experience or to combine that with physical kits (via subscription service or other distribution channels). In case this insight helps, I've been working on a subscription service for electronic project kits targeted toward kids 7-12, that are paired with an online curriculum (videos and interactive quizzes) [EEME - www.eeme.co], and one piece of feedback we've gotten from parents and kids is that they LOVE the combination of hands-on activities with online instruction/edutainment.

You're definitely onto something with the idea of kits that encourage building and exploration.

If you will target parents, I think in order to reach as many people as possible, you will have to make it as EASY as possible to obtain what they need for each project. I think for the U.S. market in particular, parents expect everything to come "out of the box" if you will - to have easy access to everything they need to do the project.

Would love to chat in more depth about the challenge of distributing this to as many people globally as possible. Great idea again!!

Photo of Emily Claire
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Alaine - I absolutely love this idea. The idea of a kit opens the door to so many beautiful possibilities. I'm not sure how implementable this is as a suggestion, but what if there was a way to follow a child's interests over time, and tailor the kit to their growing passions and strengths? So perhaps with each kit the child could fill out a very simple 5-question survey that would give you information about what the next kit should be. Children who seem to love the science-based kits could receive more that inspire scientific thinking, for example, and the would grow more complex as the child learns and develops. Congratulations on moving to Top 22, I can't wait to see this creative concept become a reality.

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Emily, I think this is an amazing idea. It's such a great way to engage children in the long term, as you capture their interest and build upon it as time goes on. My concern is that we might potentially focus them in one type of interest early on and they won't have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of create opportunities. So a child would have to say "I like chemistry" in the early stages, and potentially never try out the "painting" or the "architecture" kits. But what's amazing about your idea is that if they truly excel at chemistry, you have potentially engaged a child in something long term and helped them to build creative confidence at a level that is invaluable.

The survey is a great idea as it's is helpful feedback regardless. Implementing something like that will help improve the projects as time goes on. Good thinking!

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DeletedUser

I think the survey is a great idea. I think it would be cool to have a pie chart (similar to how our DQ pie chart) that would show the type of kits that have been purchased. It shows what type of kits a children hasn't tried yet. So if a parent or child really looks at the pie chart and notices that they are buying too many chemistry kits, they can decide to buy the art kit instead.

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Imran, the pie chart is an interesting idea! Almost like with Trivial Pursuit where you have to get all of the pieces of the pie to win. It's a 360 degree achievement.

Photo of Hao Dinh
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Alaine, I think The Electronster concept by Olivia (http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-electronster/) would be a good Create Kit.

I prototyped The Electronster idea with my nephew. He and I had an awesome time! I made a video of the experience and his and my reactions. http://youtu.be/FSvoGm7ohqM

Also I created a simple guideline on what/how to run The Electronster activity.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100096797/Prototype%20Template%20HD.pdf

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

And we were super excited to see this clip on how Hao's simple prototype went with his nephew: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSvoGm7ohqM&feature=youtu.be It's great to see how trying things out, even a small part of a large idea, can lead to deep insights which can help grow the idea further. And how anyone in our community might get involved from their local context and contribute to our global challenge. Nice one!

Photo of Christopher Rannefors
Team

Hi Alaine,

Have you taken a look at Kiwi Crate? http://www.kiwicrate.com/

I think they are a similar model to what you are thinking if you decide to go with the physical subscription based model. If this is the way you want to go (which I think could be great!) you should consider taking a deep dive into figuring out how logistics would work. I have a friend who used to work in a company that does subscription 'kits' for dog owners, and she told me that while the creativity and the design of the kits is an important part of the business, over 80% of what goes on is planning logistics and distribution: warehouse, shipping, distributors, suppliers, etc.

I am curious to hear what you guys have been thinking!

Photo of Hao Dinh
Team

Alaine, I plan to provide another Field Note update on all the Refinement ideas by Sunday (Dec 1). Let me know by Saturday 6 pm EST USA if there is anything you want me to highlight to help progress your concept. Any prototypes completed, any assistance needed, any breakthroughs or anything you want to highlight. You can provide me video or text. I will consolidate. Thanks in advance.

Photo of Alaine Newland
Team

Today I was thinking a bit about creating traditions. My friend's mom had a gingerbread decorating party every year. She had all of the neighbors over and had the best candy and had a contest for the best one. She would make one the night before so there was always an example to get people started. Everyone would look forward to it for weeks. It was creative, fun, interactive, and nobody worried about whether they could glue well or whether their house looked more like a lean-to. It was just fun to imagine and play. And eat candy too.

While this Create Kits is based around doing different projects every weekend, I'm interested to hear people's thoughts on the idea of integrating creative traditions into the family space. I think it could contribute to a child's excitement for these creative endeavors.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Wow – I'm so jealous about the gingerbread decorating parties, Alaine! For me this speaks to the excitement of shared purpose – which could be within or beyond the family. I like the notion that your kits might help folks connect with others in their local community through creative endeavours.

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DeletedUser

I love this idea. I didn't have a lot of resources growing up and my family still found ways to keep me creatively engaged: building kites with my grandma, making lava lamps with my cousin, or simply building forts by myself. Whatever the scenario, the thing that kept me engaged the most was problem solving...such as, "How do I make a fort that has a secret room or a trap door?"

I wonder if your kits might contain unique, actionable problems to solve...something like, "Create a self portrait using whatever is around you" or, "How might one get to Mars?"...in either case, you would be providing a starting point for creativity by proposing a problem with no specific endpoint.

Sometimes creativity is just blocked by not having a place to start.

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Alaine, great job on your Top 22 concept! We really liked that your idea is hands-on, tangible and involves connecting parents and kids for creative experiences. In the Refinement phase, we'd love to see you continue to build out what the first kit might look like. If you set yourself a goal of launching your first kit in Spring 2014, what would you need to do, decide on or prepare for to get ready? Also, we saw that you're exploring online, downloadable kits as well as physical ones that get sent to participants. As you explore both options, keep in mind that we also want to include young people without regular internet access and those who might come from low-income contexts. How might these kits reach and empower those young people and their parents too? For more tips for this Refinement phase, check out http://ideo.pn/cc-refinetips and catch our Lowdown on Refinement at http://bit.ly/oi_refine

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Thank you so much for believing in this idea! I am thrilled to be able to carry it forward into refinement. I will ruminate on your points above and hope to run a brainstorming session in the next week to provide additional insight.

In the meantime, what comes to mind immediately as a solution for low-income or internet-challenged families is that there could be a booklet with a year's worth of weekend activities that parents could order (through their kids' school or public library?). It could be affordably printed and distributed globally, perhaps in many different languages, and kids could sit down with their parents to choose an activity out of the book to do on the weekends.

I will continue to gather insight and feedback from more community members on how this solution might develop. If anyone reading this has thoughts, I'm very interested! Please share!!

Photo of Erin Dragotto
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Hi Alaine, a thought occurred to me...What if you were able to "check out" the kits like books at a library but that they were able to be distributed throughout the schools for parents to check out rather than having to go offsite to another facility like a library to find them. This way you would have teacher by-in as to what your child might find interesting for extend learning purposes and then the kits would be available for the parent to check in/out and drop back off to the school. You could create a few kits, start with one/two schools in your area to get a BETA going.

Before that, you might want to team up with the educators/students at those schools to create the kits to be distributed. This way you would know if this is a go, and you would already have institutional by-in before you distributed them out.

Photo of Alaine Newland
Team

Erin, this is a fantastic idea, especially as a way of examining whether physical kits are the way to go before trying to set up too wide of a distribution area. It's also a great solution for places that might not easily receive mailed subscriptions or might not be able to afford subscriptions but the community could band together and purchase a few kits to all share, and collectively keep at the school or library. I will bring this idea to the table at tonight's brainstorm as a potential solution for the physical kit in low-income neighborhoods.
Thank you for the suggestion!

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DeletedUser

hey Alaine, well done on getting into the top 22, i wondered weather you could gamify this to make it a system where you could be rewarded for completing the creative tasks, would your platform allow users to publish their outcome to inspire others?

Photo of Alaine Newland
Team

Hi John, I'm definitely hoping that the project includes an online forum where kids can share what they've made to both inspire others and gain addition confidence through positive reinforcement from their community. I do love the idea of gamifying it but I don't want to get too close to how other organizations have done this idea (such as DIY.org, where they have projects that kids can download and patches that they earn for completing them). I would love any thoughts or suggestions on how we can apply a unique take on rewarding kids for participating. I'm definitely keeping it in mind as I develop the concept.

Photo of Luisa Fernanda
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Alaine,
I love this idea because it can be implemented anywhere by almost anyone. Instructions can be really fun. There are lots of artists whose art is visual, poetic, situational and/or theatrical instructions.
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/06/03/do-it-the-compendium-hans-ulrich-obrist/
For a class in grad school we had to create a series of instructions to intervene on a specific site. The most enlightening part of the process was trying out the instructions ourselves before giving them out to other people. During the process I found out that trying out instructions can be harder than you think, but it can also be very rewarding. I realised some instructions were unnecessary. The process also pushed my instructions to be less literal and more playful.

It would great if you could prototype one set of instructions and try them yourself-Maybe pretend to be a a parent and get a friend to be a child?-Or even, better, if you have kids around you who you can try out the instructions with and act as the "parent" it would be amazing. Its going to be very interesting to design instructions that engage both parents and the kids. This is a great design challenge in itself. Can't wait to see a prototype of the instructions.

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Love the idea of a prototype session, Luisa. And Alaine, you may have seen this, but I thought you might like to check out an example of someone in our community who tried out their idea on a past challenge: http://www.openideo.com/open/mayo-clinic/ideas/different-generations.-shared-humanity.-/ As Luisa suggests – you might try something smaller – but the insights towards refinement from engaging with potential end users are sure to be valuable.

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I am really excited to test a kit project out. Seeing as it's Thanksgiving weekend and I'll be surrounded by family, hopefully I can rally some creative activities and get feedback on how easy the instructions were and whether the format was inspiring, engaging and rewarding.

Luisa your suggestion in another thread about having specific questions to answer in the prototyping session is excellent, thank you. I will also have very different questions for the kids versus the parents.

I also look forward to the visuals that will come out of the prototyping session. I think they will go a long way towards expressing the purpose and positive effects of the Create Kits. Meena, I love the testimonials that came out of that session. The feedback is truly special and the images of everyone participating are valuable as well. But even leading up to that, to get the complete pieces ready for a prototype you truly have to think of all of the elements and you see the gaps in your needs and thinking a lot sooner.

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DeletedUser

Hi, Alaine,

Producing Kites Is a great medium for creativity, not everyone is good at drawing and many people learn kinetically so this concept works really well.

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Hi John, I love this idea, especially since a kid could create a different kite each time. They could even create an improved kite each time as they learn about how their kite's features helped or hindered its flight. The kit could include a few templates if they want help, or simple suggestions on how to get started. It could suggest materials to use from around the house and also teach about the history of kites and famous kites (like Ben Franklin's and the Wright Brothers and those used to stabilize boats in ancient Polynesia). If this were a physical kit that arrived in the mail it could include some materials for the kids to use or include a ready-to-build kit.

What's great about this idea is it offers an activity to create and then an opportunity to utilize the creation so they're rewarded for their effort. Great thinking!

Does anyone else have ideas like this?

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Hi Alaine,

This is a great idea! In addition to providing Creative Kits, it would also be important to create a forum where parents and teachers can provide feed-back for what worked well and what didn’t work so well. Instead of being a fixed package to be downloaded, the Creative Kit could be more dynamic and interactive. The Creative Kit should be a constantly evolving learning process.

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Hi Shane, I agree that a forum for parents will be an excellent tool, especially as not all parents will be comfortable facilitating creative play. I also love the ideas of the projects constantly evolving based on the feedback of the kids. Perhaps there could be a rating system where projects move up or down based on how much the families enjoyed them?

This all assumes this project is housed online. We are also considering the idea that the kits will be delivered in physical form, as many families do not have access to the internet. I'm trying to be reasonable and logical for feasibility of bringing this concept to fruition and a subscription-based service is much more complicated than an online platform (distribution, stock, staff, etc). But the ultimate goal is get access the most number of families. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

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Alaine, your concept is highlighted in this week's Field Note

http://www.openideo.com/fieldnotes/openideo-team-notes/creative-confidence-challenge-community-champion-update-10/

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I love that this will get kids involved with creative activities, but I think this is a little too instructional at the moment. The activity cards suggest a fairly fixed outcome.

Can you introduce a twist somehow? Something random, or an unexpected constraint? Something that makes the core activity replayable.

You might already have this covered. Would be great to see worked up example.

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Hi Tom,
I think that you bring up a really important point - we don't want these activities to feel like homework. We want the kids to be super excited to participate and to look forward to spending time with their families doing something creative. At the same time it would be great if there was a peripheral learning outcome to the creative activity.

I believe it's possible that the same activity could be replayed many times and have different outcomes and be equally as exciting every time. For instance, as a child I used to love collecting leaves of different shapes and sizes, putting wax paper over them, and using crayons to trace the texture in rainbow impressions. I would do hundreds of these and wallpaper my room. Each leaf would be different each time. I learned about texture while my dad taught me (in highly simplified terms) about how the fibonacci sequence shows up in nature, and I played with color wheel concepts as the crayon colors overlapped in interesting ways. I would do this same activity every year and I never tired of it. This is just an example of an activity that might show up in the database for a fall day.

But to your point, it's worth asking the community opinion whether perhaps the focus of the outcome should simply be that they are inspired, or is it important that they've learned something about physics or color theory or geography.

>>> I'm interested to hear what people think about whether an educational outcome is pivotal to the success of this concept?

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Great provocation, Tom. And perhaps an avenue for kids sharing their creative responses might help here too? There could be some great learnings from DIY.org: https://diy.org/about which was co-founded by one of the dudes who set up Vimeo. I also wonder if a possible twist could be around turning the tables and having kids run creative sessions which their parents participate in. Lots of possibilities… looking forward to see how things evolve based on the conversations you're having online & off-.

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hey there great idea! do you think we could colab a bit?

heres my idea if youd like to take a look?

http://www.openideo.com/open/creative-confidence/ideas/the-5-senses-project/

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Alaine, my name is Hao Dinh, the Challenge Community Champion. Congrats on being shortlisted. So many good ideas thus I want to make it easy for folks to quickly educate themselves on the ideas so they can focus on helping refine the concepts.

Can you provide me an elevator speech of your idea, maximum 10 seconds audio/video. Or you can reply to my post with text. I plan to consolidate the elevator speeches into one Field Note. (Field Notes are weekly challenge updates)

My thought is to provide you an opportunity to hype up your concept, ask for whatever assistance you need or provide suggestions on how to prototype your idea.

Much appreciated if I can get your elevator speech by Friday (November 22) 11 pm EST USA.

Thank you in advance,
Hao

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sorry Alaine, I meant 30 seconds not 10 seconds

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Hi Hao,
Here's my elevator pitch. Let me know if I can provide any other information. I'm hoping to run a brainstorming session this weekend and will have more updates and refinements to the concept in the next week.

* * *

Create Kits is positive reinforcement through repetition. By curating opportunities for inspiration and discovery, parents can foster a safe place for their children’s creative learning.

Create Kits is a database of projects designed to spark creative and critical thinking. Activities can be completed using supplies found around the house or neighborhood so that anyone can participate without having to purchase specialty items. Projects may be downloaded and shared through an online forum, or families without internet can order a booklet with a year’s worth of weekend inspirations.

What did you create as a kid? How did your parental participation in your childhood creative endeavors affect your creative confidence today? Was there a project that still resonates with you today?

Let’s put away the video games and turn off the TV. Let's spend the weekend doing something creative as a family. Who knows what our kids might discover.

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Awesome Alaine, looking forward to seeing your refinements!

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DeletedUser

Great Idea Alaine!
I would love to help with this project!
:)

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DeletedUser

I have a 6 years old sister and I know the importance of always encourage creative culture in a child!

Photo of Gayatri Korhalkar
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Hi Alaine,
So similar to what I'm working on.. would be happy to collaborate!

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Gayatri, I would love to work together on this idea. I agree with your thoughts on the importance of creating confidence as a way of "sustaining interest in an activity" and I think a handbook for parents/teachers on the guiding principles behind this concept would be a useful tool in teaching them why nurturing these initiatives are so important.

The more minds on this project the better, as I think we bring unique perspectives to the deliverables of the kits. I think a virtual team could be successful and I'd love to further discuss the direction of this concept with you.

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Nice one Alaine! I'm super excited about this. Quick build: how might your idea shift or change if these Kits were actually geared toward kids as the users, not parents? That is, what if a 4th grader could download an activity that she could then work on with her parents, rather than the other way around? Might be an interesting way to see your idea through a new lens....

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DeletedUser

Ashley, I'd guess these would stay almost similar. The 4th grader could be given one guided task, and one unguided but related task, which he can work on, and then take it (with a beaming smile) to his mommy, as his own creation.

Thoughts?

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Ashley, I can picture the website having a dashboard for both the kids and the parents. I think it's important that the kids be able to select their own projects, sorting based on their own interests, loading their inspirations and process, sharing their results and connecting with other kids' projects. Kids should also be able to load new ideas for projects

It would also be great if there was a forum for parents, so that they could interact and share tips and tricks for success. Guiding creativity might not always come naturally and having a global support system could be a great resource.