Owen's Lesson in Resiliency

Are you ready for a lesson in Resiliency? Meet Owen from Purrfect Totes! he has a few lessons he wants to teach you, and kids, about starting your own business and how tough it can be sometimes.

"My name is Owen and my business name is perfect totes. My favorite part of the program would probably be during market day because market day is when you get sales. You're so happy but then people don't come and you have to prepare yourself to get ready for people saying no to you and being denied. Everybody should take this program because it gets you prepared for real life. people are gonna say no to you, walk by you and say I'm gonna come back later and just run. So it's a great program to get you ready for people to say no and still say thank you."

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

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Kid entrepreneur programming is offered by Build a Biz Kids, a local non profit society focused on helping kids to develop and strengthen their essential soft skills. Students gain confidence, and learn foundational skills such as critical thinking, resiliency, financial literacy, leadership, decision making, self awareness, communication, public speaking, and so much more! Find out more about us and our incredible students at http://BuildaBizKids.com


2020 BBK Experience Calendar!

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Can you believe that it is already the year 2020?! 

The Build a Biz Kids Team have been busy and we can't wait to introduce you to events this year that will help your child learn and develop so many essential soft skills, earn some extra spending money, introducing them to new experiences, all while teaching them about independence, responsibility and financial literacy. Kids are capable of so much AWSOME and we can't wait to let them show it off!

We have an events and opportunities list that is growing and growing but here is what you can expect so far! If you would like any information about any of the specific events, stay tuned as they are announced, or reply to this email. Some events require applications or tickets, some will have limited space and some are complete open! 

We hope to see you a LOT this  year! 
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Perspective Developing Events

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Dragon's Den is pretty great but have you ever wondered how those Entrepreneurs got to be so good at their Business Pitch?

Join us as we attend Volition Advisors Practice Pitch Nights! Watch as Real Entrepreneurs deliver their business pitch and gain valuable feedback from the judges.

RSVP: Required by Email Once Event is Posted
Frequency: Multiple Events a year
Next Event: TBA Soon, Stay Tuned
Location: Vancouver, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Education, Empathy, Business Communication, Public Speaking
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Do You love watching a great TEDtalk? Then you will love Get Inspired. From the Executive Producer of TEDxStanelyPark, Get Inspired Talks is where speakers offer fresh solutions to humanities pressing problems. 

Tickets will go on sale soon! Build a Biz Kids will have a special discount.

RSVP: Tickets are Purchased, Coupon Code Available
Frequency: Twice a year
Next Event: May 23rd, 2020
Location: Vancouver, BC
Valuable Takeaways: New Perspective, Education, Inspiration, Empathy, Public Speaking
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A Hero's Journey is a tough one when youa re in it, but WOW, does it ever make for a great story! Start Up Vancouver hosts Entrepreneur stories from the CEO's & Founders themselves.

The ups, the downs, the tough decisions. This is the real world of an Entrepreneur and they wouldn't have it any other way.

RSVP: RSVP Required by Email Once Event is Posted
Frequency: Mulitple Events a year
Next Event: TBA Soon, Stay Tuned
Locations: Vancouver, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Education, Empathy, Business Concepts, Public Speaking
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Incredible Skill Development Opportunities

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We have so many exciting events coming up this summer and we are looking for BBK Ambassadors to help us Inspire more kids while getting out important messages!

Auditions will be held to find clear & confident communicators who would like to be our spokesperson for our BBK Takeover! Be "On the Scene" & post to our social media to share what's happening & create Excitement.

Auditions will be scheduled soon so stay tuned for more information!

RSVP: Audition Appointment Required
Frequency: Twice a year
Next Event: TBA Soon, Stay Tuned
Location: LowerMainland, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Confidence, Communication, Persuasion, Public Speaking
Contact: Email info@buildabizkids.com
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2nd Annual BBK & Ruben's Shoe's Takeover!!

We are holding auditions to find a team of enthusiastic Ambassadors to host our Social Media Takeover again! Auditions will be scheduled soon so stay tuned! We can't wait to see what engaging content these Kid Commentators come up with this time!

RSVP: Audition Appoiontment Required
Frequency: Once a year
Next Event: TBA Soon, Stay Tuned
Location: Tri Cities, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Confidence, Communication, Persuasion, Public Speaking
Contact: info@buildabizkids.com
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Have you ever imagined being on a stage, sharing your story and inspiring millions? Well you might just get your chance! TEDxYouth is in the works and details will come. The actual TEDxYouth event wont be until 2021 but auditions will be in 2020. 

Details to come, stay tuned!

RSVP: Audition Appointment Required
Frequency: Once a year
Next Event: TBA Soon, Stay Tuned
Locations: Tri Cities, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Public Speaking, Communication, Persuasion, Body Language, Confidence & more!
Contact: Stay Tuned!
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SPRING is Here!! And with it comes our next KidPreneur Programs! We can't wait to see what unique and fun businesses students come up with this year.

We have even more locations this year and registration is already in fun swing! Register Today to ensure your child is ready to go for April.

RSVP: Registration online
Frequency: Once a year
Next Program: April, 2020
Location: North Van, West Van, DT Van, Burnaby, Port Moody, Maple Ridge
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Business Concepts, Financial Literacy, Critical Thinking, Communication, and so much more!!
Website: View Our Schedule & Register Here
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Fun in the Sun & Life Skills Education all mixed into one! What better way to spend your summer than by starting businesses, inventing one of a kind prototypes, and so much more!

Registration is Open! All camp locations will be posted by April, 2020.

RSVP: Registration Online
Frequency: 8 Weeks of Assorted Camps
Next Event: July & August, 2020
Location: North Van, West Van, Burnaby, Van, PoCo, Maple Ridge (coming soon)
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Business Concepts, Financial Literacy, Critical Thinking, Communication, and so much
Website: View Our Schedule & Register Online Here
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With the Holiday Season of giving around the corner, what could be a better time to start your first business!?! KidPreneurs in this program work step by step to start and launch thier first business! 

Real Kids, Real Customers, Real Money, Real Life Experience & Memories to Last a Lifetime!

RSVP: Registration online
Frequency: Once a year
Next Program: September, 2020
Location: North Van, West Van, DT Van, Burnaby, Port Moody, Maple Ridge
Valuable Takeaways: Perspective, Business Concepts, Financial Literacy, Critical Thinking, Communication, and so much more!!
Website: View our Schedule & Register Here
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Great Experience & Family Fun 

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This is one of the MOST Fun events of the year for the Whole Family! Ruben's Ruckus is like Tough Mudder for Kids. This 3k Obstacle Course will test their endurance and challenge their fears.

All funds raised to towards Ruben's Shoes who builds schools in the Dominican Republic.

RSVP: Tickets for Entry to Race, Free for Spectators
Frequency: One a Year
Next Event: May 9, 2020
Location: Coquitlam, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Resilience, Tenacity, Teamwork, Physical Excercise, Supporting Community Through Fundraising
Website: https://www.rubensruckus.com/
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Build a Biz Kids will be supporting the Port Moody Rotary again this year at Ribfest and we will be on the lookout for some great BBK Representatives to help us out! 

Funds raised will go towards the Port Moody Rotary who contribute to great causes all over the world. 

RSVP: Entry by Donation
Frequency: Once a year
Next Event: TBA, 2020
Location: Port Moody, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Confidence Building, Helping Others, Sales, Public Speaking
Website: http://www.portmoodyribfest.ca/
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If you are looking for an opportunity to continue building your business while stepping up your game, then Bratz Biz is the place for you. This Kids Market Day is held in Whistler just in time for Xmas Giving. 

Apply early for this one! It's very competative and will surely help you sharpen your skills. 

RSVP: Application Online
Frequency: Once a Year
Next Event: TBA, Winter 2020
Locations: Whistler, BC
Valuable Takeaways: Financial Literacy, Sales, Communication, Customer Service, Critical Thinking, and more!
Website: https://bratzbiz.ca/
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Are You Winning or Losing? Does It Matter?

Imagine your child won a Nobel Prize for giving one big idea to the world, through taking action. Do you believe this is possible? Do they have it in them to be exceptional?

I really hope you said yes, because it's true. No matter what intellectual, physical or other limitation they may have, giving the world a great idea and taking action on it is in all of our power and control, but it can be a tough road.
Developing a Growth Mindset is not just about helping them do more or become smarter kids, it's about developing their coping skills and having a healthy attitude towards difficult obstacles they will face in life.
Why is it that we love to watch biographies or hear stories about incredible people who have done incredible things? Do we just enjoy hearing about the part where they won the medal or their book was published, or they climbed the mountain? Of course not! That part is only satisfying when we can hear the "story" of how they did it.
It took how many years to write that book? And she was how old? And so broke that she was behind on rent?
Oh my gosh! You mean she broke her leg but managed to win an Olympic Medal in Figure Skating? How??
They got the idea for how to plant more tree's faster by watching their daughter play in the sandbox? So cool!
It's the story of how the band Queen came to be formed that is interesting. It's how someone like Oprah ends up becoming Oprah. It's the story of the invention of the first light bulb and Michael Jordan's rise to fame that keeps us in ah. But why?
A part of all of us believes we are capable of more than we currently present. When we hear stories of "success" and their grass roots, we are reminded that everyone starts our the same. In diapers, curious about the world and falling over and over again as we learn to walk.
Yes, we all have different upbringings. Some of us have incredibly supportive parents and others were in households of abuse. Some were encouraged in sports and had the means to pay for expensive equipment and coaches, while others had none but always loved to play. For every story of success where someone "had", there are just as many stories from someone who "had not" but still become a success.
Why weren't we those exceptions? Life is tough. End of sentence. It really is, but I don't mean in a physical sense. Bills need to be paid, yes, and that person cut you off in traffic that caused an accident, that really sucks. But when I say life is hard, I mean that no matter where you come from, the have's or have not's, we all fight battles in our heads.
"Did I do that well enough?"
"I know I could do more but I don't feel like it"
"Why are they doing better than me? Why can't I have that as well?"
"What am I doing wrong?"
"I wish I had said something differently back there. Now it's too late"
Man, it's exhausting being in ones head. Whether you appear confident or not, whether you can afford things or not, our brains are constantly questioning what we are doing and trying to convince us of false truths. It's an animal with basic needs to protect and survive. It does this to help but it is mental torture for many.
So, let's bring this back to a growth mindset in our kids. Why is it so important?
Because the commentary in a growth mindset sounds more like this:
"Wow, that didn't go as well as I thought. Now I know what they want to hear for next time"
"I'm tired today but I have almost reached my goal. I can't wait!"
"I wonder how they got all of those things? I should ask and learn from them"
"What am I doing wrong? I should ask someone experienced for help"
"I missed an opportunity to say how I felt. Next time I will remember to express myself more clearly"
Well I'm inspired. And Excited! A growth mindset uses energy to grow, not beat down and dwell on things that no longer matter.
This Weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge is, "I love that you didn't quit on this, even though it was tough."
The key to instilling a Growth Mindset is to keep their self identity and "pride", if you will, in the process of doing and trying, not on the results. You will notice that the phrase doesn't specify if they got an A or not. It doesn't say, I love how you won the game and didn't give up. This isn't about winning! Every top athlete has lost many games before they won. Every successful business owner has failed at numerous things before succeeding.
Encourage them never to quit, even when it get's tough. Get their brain to attached to positive emotions and chemical stimulation when they encounter something tough. That's their cue that something satisfying is here and now. Not when they get the A. The process is the exciting part.
Try using this phrase and add it to your collection from past weeks. Like all things, practice takes perfect, mom and dad. That goes for you too.

Labeling Your Kids to Shape Their Identity

Parents Growth Mindset Challenge Week #2!
How did it go last week? Did you practice using the Growth Mindset Phrase?
It takes practice but WOW! What a difference you will see in your kids.
Try to actively use this weeks phrase. This Growth Mindset statement is doing 2 things.
Firstly, it is positively reinforcing great behavior, which in this case is asking for your opinion. Kids, and all of us, want to do good things. We all want positive attention and be praised for good behavior. Asking for other peoples opinion is a great skill to have. It demonstrates leadership, helps others feel valued, and can build incredible teams who can do incredible things as a strong unit. Humble people ask for others opinions; Insecure individuals and those with inflated egos do not.
Secondly, this phrase is labeling them as a "Considerate Person". We are helping to ground their identity into a positive personality trait. By pointing out that they are in fact a considerate person based on the action they just displayed, it is not an empty comment. They will feel like the compliment has been validated in their minds and, therefore, must be true. When humans can tie their identity to a trait, they act in accordance to it naturally without effort. New connections are made in their minds to display this behavior and every time they act in accordance with it, it reinforces it further. It becomes who they area.
But be careful, it works both ways. If you label your child negatively, the same thing will happen. We never mean to do it, but it does happen. Perhaps they are playing with another child and take the other child's toy away. You want to immediately correct this behavior but stay something like, "Don't do that. You aren't not a good sharer." That statement is just as effective as the positive label. They will believe you and find opportunities to prove that phrase is correct.
Or perhaps you ask them to clean their room for the 10th time and finally say, "You are a terrible listener!" or "You are so messy!"
We never intentionally mean to hurt their identity, but it happens. Everything worth doing takes conscious practice until it becomes an unconscious, positive habit.
Try this weeks Growth Mindset Parent Challenge. Intentionally use it. Find opportunities to use positive labels with your child and watch them develop almost overnight.
Stay tuned for next week!

Guest Bloggers, Partnerships & More!

In the last year, Build a Biz Kids has gained incredible support and met some incredible people who are all in alignment with our values and mission for BBK. We truly believe that we can all run faster, father and do more when we put our heads together and all bring our greatest strengths to the table.

Some of our partners are so incredible that we have asked the to participate directly with us, and you, by contributing regular guest blogs and insights into their worlds. These guest bloggers range from incredible societies who are doing Positive, GREAT things all over the world, such as Desiree from Ruben's Shoes, to employers from top brands and companies who are growing quickly but need applicants to have Business Ready, Practical Skills in order to be able to hit the ground running, such as YESA.

We hope that their insight and unique perspectives will bring additional value to you as a parent, as a member of this great world, and as someone who wants to increase their own knowledge and have it rub off on everyone you encounter.

Stay Tuned! Our guest blogs are coming soon!


Forget Gen Z, This is Generation Auto-Play

For parents and teachers…There’s a new adversary in town. It’s the auto play.

Entertainment and indulgence have become an automated activity with countdown clocks to the next episode on Netflix, to the next match in online gaming, to the next YouTube video. Even our meals can become automated with the delivery apps that recommend your preferences.

There’s benefits to this automation. It frees up our minds from having to make too many decisions as well as the time of manually completing the task. “Be Kind, Please Rewind” is a phrase our kids will never know.

Our kids are growing up with access to instant gratification from very minimal effort. And yet as parents we know that self-esteem and confidence are derived from overcoming challenges and success can be determined by ones ability to delay gratification.

How can we instill the work ethic in our kids that will set them up for challenges later in life?

Do they need to earn their time on video games? Do we treat time on electronics as a currency that we pay them in exchange for chores and good behaviour?

For us, the greatest thing we can teach our kids is the joy of skill acquisition. The confidence they gain from being able to do something they once were incapable of is empowering and hopefully inspires them to want to learn another skill.

The electronics we see as a distraction can also be used as tools. But like I told our son this week, tools, like a hammer, can be used to build a house but also take one down. It’s about deciding the outcome we want to use the tool for and then utilizing it to best meet that outcome. In our home, and through Build a Biz Kids, we are looking for ways to use these tools to learn new skills.

What has worked for you? What tactics, strategies and communication models have you used to get positive results from your kids when addressing technology for good?

We would love to hear from you. It takes a village and an open network of knowledge sharing to trial and error each child (and parent) as individuals to reach the desired results.

Stay tuned as we share assorted strategies that Build a Biz Kids, and Parents, have utilized with success, as well as those that crashed and burned.


How To Ensure Your Child Get's a Great Job

How can you ensure your child get's a great job?

Well, a magic ball would be a lovely answer. And yes, we can certainly push them to succeed in ways that we have been told will prepare them for a successful future, but what WILL their future look like?

Let's take a walk back about 40 years and see how the future can help us to "predict" the past.

When I was born in 1981, industries were booming, working in the trades was steady, and getting a corporate job where you could move your way up was the best possible outcome. Plus, everyone was unionizing. Even Safeway had a union and was easily able to entice fresh high school grads to work for them and make "loads" of money today and have job security rather than go to school. Or, you could go to school, that cost money, with hopes for more financial security and health benefits later.

Then, 10 years later, those 80's babies grew up a little and went to school and we were told, Baby Boomers will be retiring in droves! Prepare yourselves for any job your want so get as much education as you can to ensure you get the best, secure job. So we did. In fact, in my final high school year they introduced CAPP, Career And Personal Planning. AKA, how to write a resume and how you can earn the most money having the most number of letters after your name on a business card.

Grad came and, low and behold, the boomers all stayed put. They couldn't afford to retire. No jobs were to be found. Some industries were starting to fall backwards a bit, but all was still fairly stable in the job economy. We had the choice of starting at the bottom of a union seniority list in hopes of moving up after many years and some of those Boomers started to retire, or become career students until things got.... well... better. Trade Schools looked really appealing to my generation. They made good promises and taught a lot of content in a short period of time so many of us managed to get decent jobs after completing a couple years of hands on education.

Fast forward a bit and next was my sisters generation. Millennials. She was born 13 years after me. Don't worry they told her. The boomers are all definitely retiring now and those Gen X kids are all out of the way to make room for you to walk into all of these job vacancies. But, the boomers were STILL around. AND the jobs that they did have were becoming obsolete in place of tech jobs instead. Who could have seen that coming?!? Jeeze, I wish they had been teaching technology and coding when she was in school... Wait, they still don't do that?? Anyway....

Now it takes us to today. My son is 10 and at this point, no one knows what the heck things will be like when he graduates high school, or even why there is high school. I think many economists prefer to guess, I mean "Predict", what happens next in oil and gas rather than education.

Being that I am "Technically" a cusper of Gen X & Millennial, or so the book "Y-Size Your Business" told me, I like to think I can speak wisely from 2 generations experience about market conditions, false promises, and overall, teach those who come next.

PREPARE FOR ANYTHING!

Sorry, that got a little over dramatic but seriously, prepare for anything. How? Well it sure as heck isn't learning about WW1 (unless you want to be in the military or a history professor) and it sure as heck isn't learning about Geology (unless you love rocks and want to be a scientist or teacher). I have nothing against learning these areas of education if someone is curious but I would rather you Learn HOW to Learn and about the brain than content that traditionally, from experience, is crammed in and spewed out onto a test to determine how much value we have in this world.

Science and Math and History and English and Art, this is ALL needed in this world. But if we don't teach kids HOW to learn and expose them to all that this world has to offer, and where the world needs help, how will they ever be able to grow up to be contributing adults who can pivot and take action in ANY scenario that arises?!?

The lessons that need to be taught are those that can't be graded with an A, B or C+. They are areas that are ALWAYS in development. Area's that we all have different levels of to begin with but all need to understand and be conscious of. They have been called by many "Soft" skills but in my opinion, they are the hardest and most critical skills to acquire, on purpose, in today's education system.

Unfortunately, this blog is already incredibly long and I want to finish my original point so I will leave diving into these Critical (Soft) skills for another post. But picture this;

Your baby is now 17 years old and about to walk up on stage and collect their high school diploma. In that moment of joy, you feel that moment of fear seep in as well. What's next? What are they capable of? What has school prepared them to do? I mean, 12 years is a LONG time to have taken them away and taught them "things", but what can my child actually do to take care of themselves while also feeling fulfilled and happy throughout their life???

Do they have to go to college now and possibly take on debt? Do I have to take on debt for them?
What will they take in college? And what if they don't like the field they choose? What if there are no good paying jobs in that field when they graduate?

So many questions. What are the answers?

The answer is this, and it's not all on you, but you are the one in a position to take action. Before their graduation, help your child gain experience and expose them to as many experiences and topics as possible. Help them find out now what they like and don't like. Help them help others and feel what real contribution and internal fulfillment feels like. Give them the chance to develop and practice these Critical Skills (soft skills) so they can start to develop them before it becomes more difficult for them to adapt.

From 7-17 years, focus on giving them 10 years of real world experience so they feel like college is an empowered choice, not a mandatory debt. Help them to be capable of self care before they become adults. Allow them to hit the ground running.

I promise to go deeper into these Critical Skills (soft skills) next. For now, I just want to prepare you to prepare them for the unexpected future that they will have a hand in shaping.

Build a Biz Kids hopes that through our programming, and utilizing entrepreneurship as a medium for learning, we can be an option to parents to help them develop and practice these Critical Skills. We are also in development for what comes next. Stay Tuned. You will be hearing more about The Fuel Academy over the coming months but know that we are in your corner, a part of your village, and here to support you and your child on their journey.


What’s Your Problem?

We’re surrounded by problems. We have designed our day around the activities that we deem to be mandatory while minimizing the resistance we feel towards them. Everyday we are resisting that task we know needs to be done. Whether it’s taking out the garbage or folding laundry, there is something you know needs to be done and you are avoiding it.

But what if we stopped to think about those activities and decided what it was that we did not like about them. Is it possible to turn this activity into something we do enjoy?

This week we are challenging the kids in our Inventor's Paradise Summer Camp to review their day and look for “problems” that they would like to avoid. Can you picture it? Waking up in the morning and looking around? What is the first thing you encounter that you don't want to do? Brush your teeth? Make your bed? Then what? Maybe finishing your reading homework and having to tie your shoe laces.

These can be considered problems, irritations, time consuming or just something less than enjoyable. Either way, if you feel this way, chances are that others do as well and THAT's an opportunity.

Next comes finding solutions. Developing solutions IS a skill and something that we are not born with. It is a muscle that we need to exercise or else we just become complainers and that person who calls the cops because the music from the Ice Cream Mans truck is disruptive.

We ask them to invent a solution to this problem that can be as elaborate as a robot that will make their bed and clean their room on command to a simple clip that will keep their shoes tied and stop them from coming undone. We love their uninhibited imagination and we are consistently inspired by the depth of ingenuity a 7-12 year old possesses. At that age, they don't think in terms of limits, logistics and "reality". They just think what would be cool and how it could work. It may sound silly and cute but when you look at someone like Elon Musk, he still holds this type of solution oriented thinking. A skill that NASA, Ford and Toyota lost a long time ago.

With their newfound belief that they can make a difference in their lives with a simple solution to an everyday problem, we ask our KidPreneurs to step outside of themselves to develop their observation skills to help others. They begin by looking at a day in the life of their parents or siblings. What is a task or chore they do not enjoy and can we use our new creative solution thinking to make the life of someone we love a little easier? We continue to challenge our kids a little more by asking about ways they can apply the same newfound skills to the world outside of their home. They have found ways to help community members such as inventing ways of identify everyday household items for the visually impaired, removing plastics from the ocean and even developing a community space for their city!

It's fun for them and fun for us to explore the wacky and wild ideas they come up with, but more often then not they also come to a realization about half way through the week. There’s a moment when a student decides that an idea is also a possibility and with the right resources, it can become real! It’s at this point that even their language takes a turn from “we could do this...” to “I can do this…”

You see, in this camp, it isn't just theory or talking about problems and make believe robots. They take immediate ACTION as well! For every solution they develop, they create a prototype invention to test, adjust and test again. It becomes real for them and the confidence they build when they can see that their ideas are valid and possible are priceless.

There’s magic in the smile of a child who’s just found a way to make a difference in someone’s day. It’s incredibly exciting for us to watch the discovery of their ability to impact others. We believe that kids are naturally curious and willing to try new ways to make the world around them a little better.

What seems to be the age when we decided to accept the “problems” around us and stop looking for creative solutions? Our Inventors Paradise Summer Camp has reinvigorated my curiosity and inspires me to see my day’s challenges as puzzles and problems as opportunities. Who doesn’t love solving a puzzle?


Let Your Kids Impress You

Assumptions have always been my weakness. I make too many. I try to predict other peoples reactions or how a scenario might play out so I can prepare for whatever the next steps are ahead of time. When I am correct, I save time and effort, plus experience internal satisfaction, as we all do, that I got it right!

But for the times I am wrong, sometimes there is frustration or annoyance because my plans have fallen apart and I have to reorganize "the game plan". A simple example is planning how much food to make when company comes over. Too much or too little. Rarely my assumptions are correct.

But what I absolutely LOVE, is when my assumptions are wrong and the results are AMAZING. That is exactly what happened to me last week.

This summer, Build a Biz Kids launched our Inventor's Paradise 1 Week Summer Camp and it was amazing! Everyday the students left so excited about the ideas they came up with and the prototypes they were able to design from scratch, all based on their imagination.

On the first day, the last activity is to capture a pink fluffy monster who is hiding out in their closet, eating marshmallows and chewing holes in their socks. That little rascal! Their job is the design a trap to capture this pink fluffy monster using materials they are provided. Well, to plan this camp, you need to make MANY assumptions because you want to ensure you give them all supplies that they can work with and not limit their imagination. At the same time, you don't want to bring the entire Michaels Craft Store to each day of camp. So, I thought, if I were them, how would I make a trap.

My first thought, Tissue Boxes! Of course! They will want to capture a monster in a box with whatever mechanism they come up with but a box would be the main part of their trap for sure! Throughout the months prior, I ensured that I could collect enough tissue boxes for everyone as well as other supplies like paper cups, string, elastics and so much more. I wanted to make sure they could really let their minds wander.

Well, the day came and the facilitators explained their task. Catch That Monster! And they did, Oh Boy did they ever! And guess what?! Only ONE of them used a tissue box. Other than that, each student did something completely different and amazing! I was so impressed.

In fact, each day they came up with cell phone holders, robotic claws, and even arcades games, all made by their own two hands and vivid imagination. It was truly one of the most fun camps ever and we can't wait to make a few tweaks and run it again next week. In fact, we have 3 more Inventor Paradise Camps left this summer.

You can find the 2019 Summer Schedule and additional details here. 

So, I guess there is a bit of a lesson here, for me anyway. Planning dinners are hard; stop trying to get it right. And, Kids have different, more dynamic imaginations than you. Don't place assumptions on what they WILL do. Don't set limitations on what they CAN do. Just give them the space, and they will impress you every time.