Guest post by Michael Schafer: Kids should design trash

February 24, 2011 | By Brent Almond | LESSONS LEARNED, THINGS DAD DIGS

From time to time I’ll be featuring guest posts by other designer dads. First up, owner of openbox9, Michael Schafer!

Kids Should Design Trash

My frustration at the toys being sold these days has been escalated to a level of a mosquito buzzing in my ear during my naptime… not a rage frustration but enough for me to not shop for any new toys but to shop for used ones from the 70s. There are however some toy innovators coming on the scene that understand that the joy of play is not in the playing part but in creating and designing the play.

Legos are pre-designed to look like something these days — follow the instructions and it will look like a dump truck… how utterly boring. Give kids a bunch of Lego blocks and watch what they build! Makedo gets this. Give kids a few tools, let them rummage through trash and get out of their way and delight in their creativity. Who knows — maybe we can hold-off the schools from beating down their creativity and raise the next generation of creators, not users.

What activities, toys or products have you found that inspire more unbridled creativity in your kids? Please share with the group!

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