Teaching Kids to Make What They Want

As a parent, I sometimes get overwhelmed with all the things I need to teach my kids. How to throw a ball, how to tie their shoes, why the dinosaurs died, what makes a balloon float, how to make real friends.

Girls and Boys Science Experiment

Photo by flickr.com/photos/wwworks / CC BY

But it really comes down to one critical skill: teaching them to make what they want.

I mean this in the broadest sense, from making a bowl of cereal to making their room match their style to making the life that they want.

Traditionally, parenting has focused a lot on socialization: all the things my kid needs to know in order to fit in. Modern parenting needs to be tailored for the 3rd millenium, where adapting and creating are more important than consistency and conformity.

In The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz, he sums up the creative process in three steps: have a vision, look objectively at current reality, and then create in a way that gets you from current reality to your vision. This rings true for me. And it seems so simple, but each of these steps has a lifetime of possible lessons packed into them.

Having a Vision

  • Knowing yourself and what you want
  • Knowing how to dream big
  • Ignoring internal and cultural objections

Looking objectively at current reality

  • Focusing, concentrating, and being present
  • Really seeing
  • Understanding science, culture, and people


  • Doing the work every day
  • Prioritizing what’s important over what’s urgent
  • Iterating, getting feedback, and growing from failure

But not every creation requires a lengthy life lesson. The good thing about making what you want is that all of these skills grow naturally with practice. So, my goal is to find as many opportunities as possible to help my daughters choose what they want, and make it. From haunted houses to wearable tech, tumbled rocks to rocket ships, every project gives them a chance to exercise their maker skills.

It seemed like other families might be on a similar journey of maker exploration, so rather than go it alone, my family and I created Lazoolo. Lazoolo is a place for parents and families to come together around the maker mindset. We can share projects and ideas, life lessons and little wins, epic fails and thrilling victories. Have you and your family started making? Share your experiences.

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