Homeschool and Crafts

The Extraordinaires Design Studio Product Review and GIVEAWAY

This week we have been playing with two fantastic products by The Creativity Hub which will help your kids open their minds to storytelling and product design in a unique and fun way. WE ALSO HAVE ONE OF THESE FANTASTIC EXTRAORDINAIRES DESIGN STUDIOS TO GIVEAWAY….

story and dice

Rory’s Story Cubes

For those unfamiliar, story dice can come in various themes but the idea is generally the same, instead of spots these dice have pictures representing objects or places or situations so that when they are thrown you end up with a random collection which can then be used as inspiration for creating a story of your own. An example might be that one dice has a picture of a princess, on another a castle, another a crocodile and then a clown. So the story would be a princess in an ivory tower surrounded by a deep crocodile infested moat is one day rescued by a clown with heroic knight skills…or something more imaginative!

They are a wonderful aid for stimulating the creative talents of younger children and a lot of fun to share with them as mommy (or daddy) can play along too or siblings can even take turns in building their story together.  The Rory’s Story Cubes are an excellent product. The minute you unwrap them you can tell that they are well made. The little box that doubles as a storage container for the dice includes a magnet in the lid and feels robust enough that it can survive in the toy closet….The dice themselves are weighty and well made with delightful illustrations on the faces of each. You get 9 in a pack which gives 54 faces and an amazing possible combination of 10 million different story-lines (apparently, I have not verified the math though…:), but used properly with imaginations given full freedom these 9 little cubes offer unlimited possibilities….

We found them extremely helpful the other day when our little one Mimi was struggling for ideas for a short story at Homeschool. We broke out the cubes and within minutes we had a joyous story about Princesses and Crocodiles..! Enjoy!

The Extraordinaires Design Studio

With The Extraordinaires Design Studio, The Creativity Hub have continued the theme of creating well made and well designed products aimed at releasing a child’s full creative potential but in a way that gives them a few gentle pointers in the right direction. They still have to find the answers themselves but they are “playing” with ideas.

The copy we were using was The Extraordinaires Design Studio Inventions which includes a Drawing Frame, 6 Extraordinaire character cards, 6 project cards (inventions) and 10 think cards. The idea is that using one of the Extraordinaires characters as the base (kind of like a client), children are encouraged to enter the world of creative product design.

The studio clearly shows the link between art and STEM education. “STEAM” education incorporating art and design into science, technology, engineering and mathematics – first we use our creativity to come up with a wonderful idea and then the next step is how to actually engineer it, how would you make such a thing a reality?

I discussed STEAM recently in my interview with Emmy Award Winning Artist Mark Kistler and this is exactly the kind of link that he was speaking about when he said “Science, Technology, engineering, and Mathematics are important global curriculum pillars.  HOWEVER, what’s the point of all this information acquisition without deliberate application?  To solve a problem with deliberate application of information requires IMAGINATION.”

With The Extraordinaires Design Studio kids are asked to solve a problem using existing technology or fanciful wishes – what kind of a product would a superhero need to carry a drink or snack? How would this product change for a pirate or astronaut?

The studio is for ages 8 and up, it is more involved than the dice and while Mimi was interested in the pictures that came in the pack she was clearly a year or two from really appreciating the concept. My son Cam had no such worries, he dived right in!

design1

Cam was super excited when he saw the box. We set up the studio and set about solving the first problem: design a product to help the Extraordinaire Ninja climb a wall. It was the first time he had been given a challenge of designing something from concept to solve a problem, and he wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Fortunately the nice people at The Creativity Hub have included “Think” or hint cards which suggested some research and thought pointers which helped Cam with his brainstorming session. This is what he came up with – proudly presenting the Super Ninja Scaling Slime Pads (patent not-pending)!

design2

While the product clearly has a broad aim of encouraging creative thinking it’s application crosses boundaries and will inspire kids to solve these problems using their imagination and who knows where that could take them?

The Extraordinaires Design Studio comes in a variety of options (for example, a building design version) and price points (such as the higher priced “pro” packs) and can be ordered from Amazon and other good retailers. Please note that the products in this review were provided to tenderfootmom by The Creativity Hub but all opinions are my own and have not in any way been influenced by The Creativity Hub. They’re just good products, so check them out here and come back and let me know what amazing stories and designs your little ones have been inspired to come up with! x♥x

THE EXTRAORDINAIRES DESIGN STUDIO GIVEAWAY Entry Details

Prize details: 1 winner will be selected to receive a copy of the design studio. Eligibility for US and Worldwide Residents age 18+.

1. Leave a comment below by March 23rd, 2016
2. Daily Comments as daily entries allowed.
3. Tweet the following for an entry: I’m hoping to win an @extraordinaires design studio from @tenderfootmom
4. Daily Tweets allowed.
5. Follow tenderfootmom.com and leave a comment to let us know you are following.
6. Like tenderfootmom on Facebook. Leave a comment to let us know you are following.

Note: The above product was received to facilitate our review and giveaway. Find out more about The Extraordinaires Design Studio at extraordinaires.com.

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