The Creative-Reuse-Play Connection to Adult Innovation: Are you Raising a Future Innovator?

It’s been several weeks since I turned in the final manuscript to my publisher. Latinnovating is quickly becoming a book in the hands of other creative people.  This has provided me the opportunity to reflect on the stories I’ve written and take meaning from them as a whole, to apply to my life and to share with students as I start my speaking engagements at colleges around the country.

Here’s the first question, that I’ll pose to those raising kids: are you raising your child to be a future innovator, a thinker and a creative problem solver like those I featured in my book? Do you provide raw materials and let them create whatever comes to mind? Do you give them old socks and see what new dolls clothes they can create with them? Like several of my interviewees did as children, can your kids make their own original toys using whatever materials are available? Do you do anything like what I did last weekend with my girls? We turned an old curtain into glamorous sundresses for their 18-inch dolls. I taught them more examples of creative reuse and they got to use their imaginations to see what beautiful things they could create with something that had served its first intended purpose. They gave the curtain a new life. Do you do these kinds of things with your children to lay the seeds for future innovation that will come from their minds? Or….do you instead provide electronic entertainment (the stationery or hand-held type) for your preschool or kindergartner that simply helps them just pass the time? Do those electronic activities teach them the critical thinking skills and encourage their creativity so that they grow up believing they can create something new out of nothing but their brains? In other words, are you raising a future innovator with a mind filled with curiosity and unlimited possibilities or are you not? It’s worth pondering…..

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