Our mission is simple: to help kids realize their full potential by making more, playing more, connecting more, and being themselves. From personal experience, we’ve come to realize that we learn and grow the most from trying to make new things, make new friends, make things up, and make meaning.
Children are natural makers. Naturally curious. Naturally experimental. And they really play.
At any moment, our kids (and we) are choosing where to focus our attention. There are many different possibilities for what each of us could be doing at this moment:
- Following dogma
- Doubting ourselves
Because of all the amazing and magical things that people have made in the past, there is no end of choice for consumption. TVs, computers, tablets, toys, books, music, games, movies, food, clothes. A child could spend their entire life sitting, watching, gaming, reading, eating, memorizing. There is nothing wrong with any of these activities in and of themselves. But there is something wrong when these are out of balance with Making, Playing, Being, and Connecting.
Dogma– what we’ve always done just because– is another distraction for our children. Rote memorization, multiple choice testing, behaving, being quiet, listening. Unquestioningly. Again, all of these may have their place and time indiviually. But there is something wrong when they are out of balance. Mathematics is not strictly memorization and testing. Neither is history, geography, or any other subject. We learn best when we are active participants in our learning. When we formulate not just canned answers to canned questions, but when we start asking our own questions. Cultural dogma, too, can be an inhibitor. Pink Barbies for the girls. Blue LEGOs for the boys. Ridiculous.
Self doubt– kids are so often taught what not to do, that for many, every action can be filled with trepidation. “Will I get reprimanded if I do this thing that I want to do?” We all must learn boundaries, no doubt. But we must also learn how to do, make, be… not just how not to be. Don’t run. Don’t shout. Don’t climb on that. Don’t forget. Don’t be rude. Ok… what should I do? How should I be? Be awesome. Do good. Make good things. Be connected. Be caring. Do more. Be yourself.
Making– How many times has you child said, “Look what I made. Look what I did”? It rolls off their tongue. It’s natural. It’s important. A chalk drawing, a Minecraft house, a story, a flower pot, a poem.
Playing– Something you do our make for no other purpose than because you want to. As adults, when we can tie together the things we like to do for play with things that provide value to others, it’s magical. Kids, hopefully, get to spend a bunch of time building their playing muscles. This way, when they become adults, they can know what it means to do something just for fun. From this place of lightness and fun we can find extraordinary depth and meaning.
Connecting– This is what helps us realize that what we make and what we play can affect others. We are not alone in this world. Shared experience carries more meaning. It’s not just “Look what I made”. It’s (hey you) look what I made. As a child; as a human, I want to share.