My family and I value education, creativity, innovation, and hard work. Personally, I like challenging myself and finding games that can help me improve my life skills. Often, I log onto Mensa’s website for online mind games, and I’ve considered joining for the board game conferences. As a kid, I was raised to be proud of my intelligence, and I always focused on excelling at Accelerated Reader tests as well as the ACT. When I got older, I realized that intelligence is very different from creativity.
Why Creativity Is Important To Kids
Recently when I was enrolled in graduate school at Vanderbilt, I watched an excellent TED talk, Ken Robinson: How Schools Kill Creativity. After watching the video, I became very passionate about teaching kids to embrace creativity. I’m a mom of two kids, and I have my educator certificate for grades K-6. I care passionately about the values that children are taught to embrace. Even though some careers with a focus on creativity have a reputation for being too artsy or low paying, parents and teachers can’t tell what careers will be the most in need when young children reach adulthood in a dozen years or later.
Personally, I feel that games are an excellent strategy for teaching kids to embrace creativity. To study how board game companies are helping to encourage creativity, I played the game Disruptus. The game was recently named Best Board Game of 2013 in Good Housekeeping and was created by Funnybone Toys. Even though the game’s target age range was too old for my daughter, the product began to teach her metacognition – how she thinks about learning – and will continue to do so as she plays over the years.
Review of the Product
Reading the instructions, I learned that the point of the game was to compete to show the most innovation. I rolled the dice and got Create 2. Flipping two cards, I saw a railroad track on the first card and a house on the second card. Because my husband and I were competing, we began sketching our ideas on notepads to show how we would combine parts of two different items to create a more useful product. As an hourglass kept track of time, we competed to come up with the best or most outrageous idea.
My husband noticed that it was hard to find a clear winner. Judging whether an idea was the best or most outrageous was hard. Our family is very competitive. None of us wanted to admit that our own idea wasn’t the best. Since my family didn’t have an unbiased judge, we played to see who could come up with the most ideas. I sketched the most ideas during each round. The difficult part of judging a winner was that having the most ideas didn’t make the ideas the most creative. Even though I wanted to create a rubric on how to judge whether a person’s idea was more creative or more outrageous, I didn’t know what factors I would use to evaluate creativity.
Playing as a family, we laughed at some of the ridiculous ideas we drew, and we came up with some valuable, interesting ideas. Playing with a preschooler was a fun challenge. My daughter, who is only 3 1/2, enjoyed participating as a player on a team. After receiving some prompting, my daughter rolled Improve. Excitedly, my daughter improved a mailbox by adding decorative designs. To improve mannequins, my daughter drew the mannequin clothing on real people in the store window. My daughter also had fun keeping track of the time and acting as the judge.
Personally, I enjoyed the game. Because the game has clear instructions, I used it to explain to my family what creativity means. The game helped me think outside the box and relax with my family. As a player, I worked on thinking analytically, which is a very valuable skill. I plan to continue playing Disruptus with my family and hope to play with my extended family over the holidays.
I received a free item to help inform my writing.