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Can we sparkle creativity in low income children´s lives without a budget, with only boxes?

This is a story of a 9-year-old, Caine Monroy, who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store. The entire summer went by, and Caine had yet to have a single customer. Then, on the last day of summer, a filmmaker named Nirvan stopped to buy a door handle for his car. Caine asked Nirvan to play, and Nirvan bought a $2 FunPass, becoming Caine’s first customer. Inspired by Caine’s creativity, Nirvan came back to make a short film about Caine’s Arcade and organized a flashmob to surprise Caine with lots of customers.

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina
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This story is specially meaningful, a  boy from a low income community whose life changed completely after one summer with nothing to do but boxes...
It makes me realize how important it is to give children to use their imagination.

Now a days chidlren are spending tones of hours in front of screens, TV, phones, social media.
What would happen if we took those things away and instead gave them cardboard, paper, pencils and scissors...
What if we gave them just stuff to thinker with, what if we challenged them to use their imagination...

I invite you to look into what the Imagination Fundation has done since that summer that Caine invented his arcaide.


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Photo of Chioma Ume

Hey Valeria,

Thanks for this post! Have you heard of the Theory of Loose Parts? Essentially, it's based on the premise of giving children access to materials that allow them to create and imagine as opposed to toys with defined purposes. I learned about it from a daycare operator that I spoke to in advance of this challenge: What I love about this idea and your use of Caine as an example is that the main resource required is creativity. It makes me think – what are the ways that we can inspire people to see opportunities for creativity in their daily routines/homes/lives?

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina

Thank you for your post!
This is exactly it !!!
How can are daily activities become learning, creative opportunities for the children.
This makes me think of the VROOM initiative for learning opportunities that parents can have with their children in their daily activities.
But I would like to do it thinking of creative opportunities for the children with the support of the parents... games, songs, etc where parents intervene and support the learning process of the children!

Photo of Valeria Fernandez Cortina

I just read your link.
Loved the idea!
That´s how the playroom of my children is.... being an architect myself i believe that having ¨Things aorund¨to build or tinker with¨ is a great opportunity to build stuff.... and I definitely love the mess part of it because for me it has always equal to creativity at work!


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