“Mooooom!!! Dad won’t help me with my learning-based project.”
So I was re-watching a hilar episode of “The Goldbergs” last night (as I often do when I need a little chuckle) and lo-and-behold, just as I'm getting too distracted by Instagram on my phone, I hear it.. "learning based project"!! Could this be? Is Project-Based Learning (PBL) really being brought to the forefront of “nineteen eighty-something"?!?
Side Note (sort of)- Are you watching The Goldbergs? We are all the Goldbergs. As a child of the 80s, my middle name might as well be "Nostalgia." And The Goldbergs has that Wonder Years sentimentality with a humour level like Modern Family. I heart it.
So, in this episode, the young, innovative lead, Adam, who loves all things robot, space, and creativity, wants to purchase a Robot. Only snag is that it costs about $100 and Dad is not on board. Adam, being the crafty and determined little dude that he is, summons Mama Goldberg, “Mom!!! Dad won’t help me with LEARNING-BASED Project!!” I nearly Gasped, “YES!” (and imagine those little raise-the-roof emojis going crazy in my brain).
So Mrs. Goldberg has an idea: Why spend all that loot on a packaged robot kit when you can upcycle a robot with household junk.
Yes, Mrs. Goldberg! Heck. to. the.YES!
Beyond those killer sweaters & your awesome feathered hair,
you're TRULY talking my language now!
Why limit your creativity (and spend so much more money) with a pre-packaged project? I get so irritated when I walk the toy aisle at Target and see so many pre-designed activities, like the specialized Lego sets, for example. I've seen kids get so wildly excited to open one of these, and then, in a matter of minutes, get overwhelmed, irritated, and completely deflated when presented with the instructions for one of those things.
Now, I'm not saying kids shouldn't take on challenging tasks (not at all!). And even taking inspiration from a Ideas Book can sometimes be beneficial. But overall, when children have the blank slate to create from their own imaginations- they're probably going to come up with some 20x more awesome than whatever the Lego people presented their step-by-step instructions for. And they'll be using so many more 21st century skills to get there!
What do you folks out there think?... Are there any packaged products that you just luuuurve?? What are your favorite upcycled items to keep around the house for projects? Let us know in the comments below. In the mean time...
Be YOU out there!