Learning Tools For Kids To Build Innovative Minds

It is no news that one of the goals of learning is to develop innovative, creative minds which can be quickly put to use for the common good of mankind. So to say, innovation is perhaps the most important targets of 21st-century teaching. And it is a proven fact that the best time to start learning innovative thinking is in childhood. At this point, what quickly comes to mind is the fact that teaching kids to become creative can be quite difficult. But then, this is where individual learning tools come in. The advancement in technology, as well as constant research by both educationists and scientists, have led to the invention of learning tools for kids to build innovative minds.

Though these tools may not necessarily look like traditional tools common with craftspeople, they have proven to be very useful to both teachers and students. Ask every true businessperson and they will explain to you how important it is always to have innovative thinkers around. It is as a result of this need that education has started to tilt towards building innovative minds.

Hear Albert Einstein himself, “Imagination is more important than the knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.”

But before we begin to list these tools, let us consider some useful hints that both parents and instructors should bear in mind even as they help students build innovative minds.

Hint 1: Innovative Thinking Begins From Home

School is not the only place students can learn how to be innovative. Innovative thinking does not have to look like it is alien. It is something that parents have to start doing from home in any little way they can. If some of the world’s biggest brands started in garages, sure some of the world’s next rated geniuses could start from their rooms.

Hint 2: There Can’t Be Completely Wrong Answer

From playing with toys to attempting to solve the little problems they encounter, children are always learning. Due to their natural curiosity, they ask a lot of questions, and when prompted, provide a lot of answers. Many times these answers are wrong but they need not be “wrong”. As a kid’s instructor, always keep this fact in mind. Never make a kid feel like his response is completely useless.

Hint 3: Aligning Technology

It’s not like we really have a choice, but for the sake of latecomers, it’s important to note this fact. Everyone involved in the teaching process, starting from the instructors to the kids being taught should readily adopt technological methods for a better learning experience. Technology in itself is innovative, so it is only right that kids who use them develop innovative minds.

Hint 4: Talk About It!

Discuss it with your students, discuss it with the parents of those kids if necessary, but by all means, the consciousness of the need for students to develop innovative minds must be spread.

No more long stories. Lets briefly consider some of the learning tools for kids to build innovative minds.

Learning Tools For Kids

Toys

For ages, toys have been a backbone of children entertainment. Whether it is an antique doll made of rags and wood or a modern day Cinderella made of plastics and shimmering fabric, toys have been an integral part of every child’s earliest years. In this article, however, we discuss toys in relation to how they help children develop innovative minds. Here are just a few examples.

Roominate Deluxe

Toys may be seen by many as playthings children use to pass the time. But in modern day like this one, toys have become instructional materials for kids. Today, many toys are programmed to get kids thinking instead of just laughing. Again, by dismantling these toys into their various components, and then assembling them later, these kids develop the innovative faculties of their minds.

With regards to the creativity in question, Roominate serves as a worthy contributor. Roominate is concerned with creating toys which give kids the opportunity to show what they have got. The toy in question may have been built with the goal of increasing female student appreciation of the sciences and technology; it has gone on to become a platform that both young girls and boys can use to their creative advantage even as they catch unlimited fun. Again, the mental work required to build houses and related structures are sure not easy.

The advantage this challenge brings to the table is that kids become increasingly innovative as they spend more time with the toy.

Toys as Learning Tools For Kids

Zometool Creator 1

This is perhaps the first choice toy for kids who naturally have some mathematical creativity in them. Whether one sees it as a calculator or compass does not matter. What matters is that kids cannot go wrong using them. Playing with this tool not only provides an avenue for kids to have unlimited fun; it also allows them to develop their innovative mental faculties. If, perhaps, one wants a kid to understand how a compass works, for instance, this tool is just indispensable. And the creativity this toy brings to the child can help him in the future in subjects like math and geography.

See http://www.zometool.com/creator-1/

Games

Let us not forget, how important games have become to today’s children and adult. As implied by an earlier article on this blog, games are a fun way for children to learn tough concepts. But that is not all there is to games. No one; kid or adult plays a game without having creative sparks hit their minds from time to time.

As a kid, I still remember how my artistic abilities increased during and after playing Super Mario and Sonic. The feeling was the same with other classic games like Mortal Kombat and Tetris. If these old games can have such profound effects on me, imagine how much creativity and innovation these new ones will instigate in today’s kids. So, on games, we start with disrupts.

MaKey MaKey

From the title of this game, it is easy to identify that this is one of those games that force the kid to develop a creative mind. In Makey Makey, there are various levels of difficulties which the user can set. The play is however mostly designed in such a way that players try to create things that conduct electricity. In a bid to create these electricity carrying components, kids accomplish mental milestones they would never have ordinarily reached on their own. And for those students that have been destined to become the next Einstein, this game is just the facilitator they need.

MaKey MaKey – An Invention Kit for Everyone from jay silver on Vimeo.

The MaKey MaKey, which one of the games that have managed to make difficult concepts easy and fun to learn, can be used to create even music and more. For more information about Makey Makey, see their official site http://makeymakey.com

Sphero

For a kid, few things can be more entertaining than a ball, and even fewer can be more entertaining than a robot one. For Sphero, it is all about schools, parents, kids and robots. The tools they produced are designed to teach otherwise complex subjects such as programming and mathematics in an incredibly simple way. To this end, Sphero has been committed to improving their games with what is perhaps the best games and learning tools for kids to build innovative minds.

Learning Tools For Kids to Innovate

Kaleidograph

Every adult that used this tool as kids will agree that it is a great tool to keep the mind and body delightfully engaged. The real kaleidograph is usually made from glass or shiny plastics of various colors but it can vary in material and structure depending on the manufacturer.

Don’t be surprised if you catch adults spend several hours online having fun with the kaleidograph because that’s just how much fun this tool can be. But while it is nothing other than a play thing for adults who care, it is an excellent tool that kids can use to develop their minds. From the beauty of their colorful creations to the joy that accompanies it, the kaleidograph is indeed on of the great learning tools for kids to build innovative minds. For those kids that are a bit older, the web can serve as a valuable teaching resource as there are online versions of kaleidographs today. But for kindergarten kids, a solid kaleidograph in hand will not only save you from their periodic tantrums but will keep them creatively engaged.

To learn more about this concept, see www.kaleidograph.com

Conclusion

The use of technology in schools is very flexible. Any and every useful tech gadget can help staff and students in any way can and should be adopted in schools. Watch out. The most unlikely of devices could turn out to be the best solution to a particular school challenge.

Even as you explore other options, start with the ones listed in this article and begin to enjoy a simpler and easier time in school.

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Amol Wagh

Author of Game Marketing Book: Market Your Indie Game Like A Pro! 7 years of Tech Blogging & Digital Marketing. Co-founder at Dotline Inc & a Gamer. Follow me on Twitter @amolwagh, @amol.wagh