Timberdoodle provided me with this Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro to review in exchange for my honest opinion; I received no other compensation for this post.
Is creativity important to you and your kids?
It is to us.
Why creativity? Because creativity breeds innovation and flexible thinking. We spent fifteen years homeschooling our children so they could learn to think outside the box, have freedom to follow their own interests and dreams and hopefully someday make the world a better place. Even though our younger children are in school now, we are still working to foster the same creative environment. I want to see my children thinking, playing, inventing, dreaming…not attached to a screen day and night. To that end, we still invest in quality materials for their learning.
When I find products that I love I like to share them with you. We have been Timberdoodle customers since Adalia was four years old (that’s sixteen years, if you don’t want to do the math). Our educational values align closely with those of this family run business. Because of that, I am thrilled to be part of their blogger review team.
Recently my kids have obsessed with Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro. This is a fully stocked kit to help launch your child into thinking, creating, innovating and inventing. This kit has everything your child needs to be launched into designing products, clothing, vehicles, etc.
To play, your child sets out three Extraordinaire cards (these are the character cards) face up. You then shuffle the Project Cards and put one, face up, on each character card. The project cards are simple and open-ended such as: A Place to Sit, Footwear, A Hideout, etc. Your child looks at the three pairs of cards (character and project) and choses one to design. Then you take the Think cards for that particular project category (they are color-coded, so this is really simple).
Next, your child studies the character card front and back.Your child has to look at the pictures for clues to learn about the character. The included book has more information about each character (where they live, personality traits, etc) that will help your child think specifically how the product would benefit that individual. The project cards have doodles and designs on them to inspire your child.
Tilly was a bit stumped at this part. She had a knight and needed to design footwear…she felt frustrated and uninspired, wondering what would be fun about designing shoes for a knight. Thankfully, the set includes Think Cards. These contain questions designed to (wait for it) make you think.
This set Tilly on a path to design some amazingly detailed and functional boots for her character.
Once you have an idea you draw it onto the paper provided. The cards and book that come along with this set encourage you to label your projects and jot down notes about them. Tilly ended up loving this and being very proud of the boots she designed. You can see she used squirrel fur to keep them warm, thin leather to keep them comfortable and beeswax to make them water proof.
Tucker drew a pirate and had to make a timekeeper for him.
Extraordinaire Design Pro is made for kids 16 and older…guess what? All of my children, Apollo (age 5) included love this set. Now, I wouldn’t purchase this for a five-year old (at $75.99 its pricey for a kindergartener) but if you have a variety of ages in your home, this will appeal to them all.
Not too long ago, my teens had their friends over on a Sunday afternoon (a common occurrence here) and they pulled this out. The table was full of talking and laughter as they discussed a variety of designs (some realistic, some just plain silly). They spontaneously turned this Design Studio into a group game that was enjoyed by all.
My kids enjoy using this. To play they need to think, work and be creative. This kit comes with everything you need (cards, pens, paper and inspiration) to be on your way to designing products (all contained in a sturdy box with handle). It can be played over and over with nearly endless combinations. My kids turned it into a group game where they were tossing around ideas and thoughts. If you are interested in helping your children think creatively or if they dream of being a designer or inventor, the Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro is perfect for them.
This would also work well in a camp or classroom situation!
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