Benjamin's Entrepreneurial Journey

Starting a business is a Journey no matter how old you are! This is Benjamin's story from choosing his product, the trials and errors of perfecting his product, to making game day decisions to increase his sales and success!

"My name is Benjamin an my business is called Benjamin’s Bomb-a-licious Bath Balms. The teacher of the class was doing a slide show and none of them really caught my eyes or my focus but when I saw the bath bombs I really felt engaged and I really wanted to do it. It took me a long time and a lot of tries and they always kept on falling apart. We actually made them last minute yesterday 9 to 12. There's a lot of things here that you don't learn at school and I had no idea they ever existed before I took this program. It also, it teaches kids how to fend for themselves instead of their parents buying them stuff and learning to earn money and learning how to do this before they grow up. Well I didn't really get a lot of customers at in the first 30 minutes so I was kind of worried 'cause I didn't make any money, but then my uncle came and he told me to upgrade my elevator pitch and now I have a lot of customers"

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

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


"Those Big Lumps In Your Path" Brynne

Meet Brynne! She had a tough time in her Kid Entrepreneur Program and has to make some tough last minute choices on her business. But her resiliency muscle was flexed and the payoff was HUGE for her.

"My name is Brynne and the name of my business is Wooden Wonders. My favorite part of the program, it was honestly, it was really hard when things kept popping up when I was under a lot of stress during the time where I was preparing. I had to come up with a last minute resort but my favorite part was the best feeling when you overcome that and when a customer comes up, and all you’ve been through is just for this one moment where you're selling. It's amazing! When like yes, OK here's your money, feels awesome because you know all of these things you struggled through. It's the best feeling when you get over them and this customer comes up, not knowing what happened, but they still want to buy stuff from you. There will always be those big lumps in your path and it'll be hard to get through them but you will and it’s the best feeling after that. They should take this program 'cause it teaches them, it's really fun of course, but it also teaches them to get over these big struggles and it will all turn out OK if you just keep working through it."

Click here to view next semesters KidPreneur Program Schedule

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

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

 


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

*** Like Us On Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
**Follow on Twitter - https://twitter.com/BuildABizKids
@buildabizkids
*** We are On Instagram!! - https://www.instagram.com/buildabizkids/
@buildabizkids
** LinkedIn Too! - https://www.linkedin.com/company/build-a-biz-kids-bizkids-practical-education-assn/

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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Practicing Decision Making

Did you know that Decision Making is a Skill? It falls under Soft Skills but it is anything but soft, it's critical!

When kids are given the space to make decisions, and do so, it's important that we use that moment to credit them with that. Not the topic or actual choice that they made, but the action of choosing, making a decision, is one we want to encourage.

For my son, I want to encourage him to try new things. New food, new clothes, hair styles, friend, sports, and so on. You can see that moment in your kids eyes when they over think something and it becomes a really big, painful deal. An easy example for us is trying new food. Our son is not a fan of new food and, when we tell him he has to try it before declaring he doesn't want it, you can see the panic start to rise the longer he thinks about whether he will actually put it in his mouth or not.

The other week he asked if he could try something we were eating. That is an action we want him to do more.

Another example is what he is going to do to keep himself occupied while we work. Often it is a struggle to get him to do anything other than watch his iPad, which is very limited in our home, so when he made a quick decision to take his scooter to the skate park, we were elated!

Teaching moments are all around us, but it is so important for us, as parents, to be aware of WHAT it is we are wanting to praise. Praising results, even if the results are exactly as we wanted them to choose, are not the actions we want to praise. That is what can develop into people pleasing, low confidence adults.

Instead we want to praise the process of how they got to those decisions, the action of deciding what they wanted or thought was best, whatever that may be.


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.

The Power of Gamification with Your Kids

It's no big surprise that most kids love games. In fact, most adults do as well when we have time to play them (as experienced at a recent bachelor party that ended with a bunch of guys playing board games. Getting married after 40 is much different than in your 20's lol)

So the question is this. Are we fully utilizing the power of gaming to inspire action in our kids?

The logic runs as follows.

Gaming:
- We all want to win the game
- To win, action must be taken
- Strategy must be determined, planned and executed on
- Winning or losing can still be fun as it truly is the journey that is so exciting

Life:
- We all want to be happy in life, often achieved by working & achieving goals
- To reach our goals, action must be taken
- Developing a strategy can help us achieve more goals faster
- Ideally, achieving a goal or not, the happiness should be found in the journey

So, why not teach kids when they are young to gamify, well, everything? And for that matter, let's encourage adults to "play the game" of life as well so we can demonstrate authentically how fun personal, professional and social development can be?!

Here's an example of what I mean. Today we completed one of our Inventor's Paradise camps and it was phenomenal! It's set up to be a fun and innovative boot camp of learning how to see & solve problems in multiple ways and then take action to innovate and develop real, live prototypes. It's so much fun to see what these young minds come up with!

Anyway, one of the modules is designed to get them seeing outside of their day to day bubble and out into the BIG world they live in to find solutions to remove or prevent plastic in the ocean, supporting charitable organizations doing great things to clean water or feed the homeless sustainably, as well as designing a community gathering place (pictured) where people of all ages can come together and form true community bonds.

**Quick side note - I was SO impressed with what the students did in this camp but this particular exercise was mind blowing! They did it in just a few hours as a team and everyone was only 8-12 years old! I get excited for the future of our world when I see things like this.

  

But back to Gamification and how to utilize it, one of our other lessons was designed to teach them to look at the details of what's around them; literally. We designed a scavenger hunt and they decided they wanted to compete in teams. This scavenger hunt had items like, find someone who could use a hand and, if safe, help them; Find something that is broken and needs fixing; Find something that you could improve and make work better through innovation; And of course, find 3 pieces of garbage and pick it up.

WELL, they took this scavenger hunt and RAN with it, to the tune of massive bags of garbage collected. When there was some extra time at the end of class and the facilitators asked what they would like to do, they all said, "Can we go pick up more garbage?" Mission accomplished!

Although we are not able to be at each camp all the time, we always try to be there for graduation so we can meet the students and hear about their experiences throughout the camp. It's also a great opportunity for us to speak with the parents and hear their stories of development they have noticed within their own children throughout the week.

One week I spoke with a mother of a student who took our Lemonade Stand Challenge. Her son was somewhat easily distracted during lessons and often gave answers that were silly when asked questions. He is a lovely young man but a little hard to keep engaged at times. What was fascinating to watch, however, was once the Lemonade Stand Challenge begun, he was FOCUSED! I couldn't believe the change in his demeanor and how serious and on top of things he became. No silly words; no going off topic or wandering off. He wanted to sell and he wanted to win the challenge!

When I spoke with his mother I told her how impressed I was with his performance during the Lemonade Stand and that competition really seemed to drive him. She laughed and said, "Oh Yes! I learned that a while ago." In fact, she uses it. To get him to clean his room. Rather than saying, "can you clean you room?", she says, "I bet you can't clean your room in 15 minutes". His competitive nature engages and his room is clean within 15min!

I get it, I'm sure many of you are saying, my kid would never fall for that. Well, perhaps, but all kids engage in different ways and have different triggers and that is the point. Gaming is a common thread among all of us but the types of games we like to play are different. Our kids didn't come with instruction manuals, unfortunately, but through trial and error and engagement, we can figure out what get's them going.

Schools are also noticing gaming as a trend and now do math problems on iPads for points. My son's teacher last year even introduce a monetary economy of "money" for completing things that cashed in for pencils or stickers, etc.

Of course, what we really want is for them to WANT to make their bed and WANT to clean their room but we actually force anyone to love something that isn't fun. In fact, we as adults don't even enjoy many of the tasks that we do on a daily basis which is why gaming as adults can make mundane tasks fun and feel purposeful again!

Here's an example of game boards I have made for myself over the years. (pictured below) What I did was take a magnetic whiteboard and divided it into 3 categories of "Adulting" Tasks (things that need to get done like laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc), Physical & Mental Health (going to the gym, meditating, eating well, going to bed on time, etc), and Personal & Academic Learning and Development (reading, learning a new skill, writing, puzzles, etc).

Over time I kept adjusting the board depending on what was working and what wasn't and modified the points accordingly. If something was REALLY hard for me to "want" to do but was really critical that I get it done, then I would give it more points to make it more enticing. Each day I had a goal for points that I had to hit. If I was above that threshold, I was moving life and myself forward. If below, I was falling behind. It helped me with gaining perspective on my life goals and ensuring I made time for the things I enjoyed doing, as well as getting the stuff done that needed to get done quickly and with less resentment.

It also totally got me doing WAY more of the things that I would often procrastinate on such as learning skills that I always wanted to learn. On my board I would get 3pts if I spent 5min working on a goal learning something I always wanted to learn. During this time I learned how to do the 3x3, 4x4 and 5x5 Rubix cube, how to juggle and many other little things that I always wanted to learn. As I would add points to my board each day, I would find myself feeling excited about my progress that was starting to feel so simple. I would end up looking for other things I could do, but wouldn't normally, just to get more points. Laundry needs folding? Sure! I can fold the one load that is done and get 3 more points. No prob!

Going to the gym? Perfect! I would get points only for the actual sets I would complete, so, doing that one extra set became easily encouraged knowing I would really be excelling that day.

As it progressed, and only as it progressed, I started to introduce negative points when I would do behaviour I was trying to quit such as binge watching TV or being on Facebook to long. To track my progress, I had magnets that I would place next to each item I accomplished for the day and then reset at the start of the next. It was so much fun and got me into some really critical habits. I used this board for about 2 years.

Back to the kids. So, while the list below is only a fraction of ideas you can try with your kids, or even yourself, it might be a great start. I have used many of them myself, some that work and some that didn't. It's important to note that not every game needs to have a prize, although sometimes that can help. Just remember, prizes can be something intangible like, they can choose dinner or the movie that day, or they get to sleep with the puppy tonight, extra iPad time, or other things they enjoy but perhaps don't always get to do.

  • A Game Board of Points and Progress - Get a white board and list the goals for each day with a point value next to them. Perhaps, making their bed, making breakfast, reading for 15min, creating a craft or building something unique in Lego, and so on. If your goal is to get them off their iPad, list things with them that they have always wanted to learn how to do, like playing a guitar or skateboarding at the park on the list. Mix in daily chores and reminder of what they need to do each day. List points and then a prize column. 25 points might get them tickets to the movies, 50pts might "buy" them new runners or sunglasses, etc.
  • Dice! - Dice can be used in so many ways! Roll a 6 and mom or dad will do one chore on your list for you. Otherwise, it's up to them to get what's done on their daily chore list. Or have a list of what each dice number represents. 3 Means an outdoor activity, 5 means they can choose the movie, or whatever their incentives are. As long as they get their chores done, they get what's on the dice.
  • Race Them! Set up challenges where you race them to complete your daily chore list. Maybe they have to match all the socks while you fold the laundry to see who wins! Maybe they have to clean their room while you clean the kitchen. Who will win!?
  • Basketball! - Yes, it will take longer, but tossing items that need to be washed into a basketball hoop hamper or toys into a bin can spice it up quickly.

How about you? How have you been able to add gaming into your child's world to get them excited to learn or complete tasks?

Happy Gaming!

 


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.