Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding from this post– I LOVE THE SUMMER, but we are now technically in Fall, which is a fantastic time of the year. While Apple picking is probably high on the agenda, most of the conversations with family friends seem to center on that all important question – What are you going to be for Halloween?
Last year our goal was to ‘make’ the costumes as opposed to ‘buying’ them, and I wrote an article about the need for time – time to incubate ideas, time to plan, time to gather the material, and finally time to prototype (when you’re trying out ideas to see if they work, you’re prototyping).
I advocate for the making of costumes, because it provides an opportunity to involve the family in a design process that engages our creative thinking and problem solving skills.
Design Thinking is the name of a specific problem-solving methodology that has been made popular by design firms such as IDEO, but many of it’s principals can be found in most problem solving methods that require practitioners to navigate toward a creative outcome. Below is how parents can apply some of the principals of Design Thinking during Halloween.
STAGE ONE: Clarifying the Problem: What are we going to be?
The first stage of the process begins with clarifying the problem. Ultimately, this is where you have to work with your little ones to identify what costumes you need to make? During this stage you will no doubt welcome the whacky ideas that naturally manifest, and eventually settle for something in the middle (unless of course, your field of expertise is costume design). A few years ago Lucas was intent on being a fire breathing, robot skeleton dinosaur, but over time he opted for a Peter Pan theme, which was more inclusive for the family.
STAGE TWO: Ideating: How to I make the costume?
This is the stage where you need to go out an explore ideas on how to make your costume. Pinterest is a place where all the creative parents hang out, so I highly encourage you to explore this as part of your research, but a quick Google image search is also great place to start. I encourage you to identify a few different options, as you’ll likely benefit from taking a little bit from here, and a little bit from there, in order to make the perfect costume.
STAGE THREE: Prototyping: Does it work? In other words can they actually wear it?
This is where you get the little ones to try on your invention (or perhaps even better the collaborative invention). Ask them how it feels? Does it need any adjustments? You can also have them make observations, and offer suggestions for improvements. Each improvement is called an iteration, and there might even be a need to scrap the idea and start all over again – but of course time is probably playing against you during this stage of the process.
Time is always a factor, so perhaps you alternate years of making and buying costumes. Whatever you do, just be sure to start thinking early, involve your little ones in the process, and most of all don’t forget to take those pictures!
Creativity in Education: Exploring the Imbalance, is a documentary film that explores Creativity in education. The film is available on Amazon or can be access for free by simply commenting below or subscribing here.
7 Ways to Cultivate Creativity is a FREE eBook for parents who want are looking for ideas on how to cultivate creative thinking skills at home. Subscribe here to download the book.