Some of my favorite ideas come from kids. During a workshop, building with recycled materials, I was fascinated to watch the creations become wearable art: Arm-bands, head gear and goggles were favorite creations.
Summer is a great time for imaginative play and this often involves inventing characters and taking on roles of super-heroes. What better way to enhance this than with the opportunity to invent and create super gear and gadgets?
For our creations, we collected toilet paper tubes, straws, tape, string, plastic caps, cardboard, foam, and colorful cellophane. Goggles and binoculars were a favorite creation with many special features including night-vision, heat-vision, seeing through walls and finding bad guys.
Young inventors chose a colorful cellophane and added buttons and gadgets by drawing and taping extra pieces to the eye gear.
Arm bands were created with a strip of foam or paper wrapped around a wrist. They are enhanced with straws, paper, tape and drawings featuring special abilities, buttons and gadgets.
Hats, belts and other gear can be created in a similar fashion, adding new features to the super-human and heroic abilities. A hat can begin with a band around the head or can be built on a large circle cap that is then balanced on the head.
Be sure to get a picture of your inventors posing, using their new gear. The items may continue to evolve as kids play with them, describe them and test out new features. Working in a group is an advantage because it is a great opportunity for kids to share strategies for building and attaching pieces.
In our group, one child developed a strategy for attaching clear cellophane to the ends of tubes for goggles and this was quickly replicated by others with different color filters and features for binoculars.
Expand the conversation by making up names for the new heroes and their special hi-tech gadgets. Record their stories, and have fun putting your new gear to use in heroic adventures.