When Harold and the Purple Crayon was published in 1955, kids everywhere (including me and my brothers) sat too long on our fannies watching TV. Maybe author Crockett Johnson had a few TV addicted kids of his own, so he wrote a story about a little boy who creates a big adventure with just an oversized crayon and his imagination. The book's still in print because parents are still hoping to inspire their kids to unplug and be creative. sigh.
Summer should give kids a break from prescribed learning and a golden pass to let their imaginations get the better of them. Typically, though, when school let's out, students on vacation often settle into a predictable diet of screen time all the time. As an app developer I know there are loads of creative apps for kids, but often the most creative playtime involves no tech. Ask Harold and his 21st century real-life counterpart... Caine Monroy.
A few summers ago Caine (then age 9) went to work each day with his dad who owns a used auto parts shop in East Los Angeles. There wasn't much for Caine to do, but there were plenty of cardboard boxes. So Caine decided to use his imagination and his hands to create his own fun. And boy, what he made was amazing! The response he got from everyone who saw it even more incredible!
So grab your kids and together watch Caine's Arcade (10 min) and Caine's Arcade 2: From a Movie to a Movement (8 min). Be prepared to be blown away with delight as one little boy shows children and adults that we already have what it takes to make our own fun and to get others to play along. Learn about the Global Cardboard Challenge. Then talk about how your family can make this your most creative summer ever. Got any empty boxes lying around?