"One invention a day", he said to me and established his own rule. He always does that. I was only trying to get this 2nd-grader-to-be to write a few sentences a day on this diary and keep him occupied this summer break. The experiment turned out to be better than what I naively but intentionally planned.
My son is only 7 years old and I could see how this exercise completely changed his state of mind. He went from not wanting to write about anything at all to constantly thinking and recording his new ideas about how to grab something that exists and make it better.
For a few weeks this summer his brain became an idea making machine: the baby feeding slider, the eggsmart machine, the mechanical tree house, or the double-function bacon for both dogs and humans--controlled with water temperature! Considering that scientists are even suggesting that cockroach milk will be the next new super food, my son's inventions made a lot of sense!
I realized how this simple exercise got him to think about the things that surrounded him daily and how to improve them. He discovered this while playing on the sidewalk, while swimming on the beach, or while eating his food. It became his way of thinking about the world. He discovered that what's around is not necessarily the best possible option, but only the best version of something up until that point. He discovered that there are many more opportunities to the one thing that he knew and that he can make things whatever he wanted them to be.
What if we could all start a diary of inventions and reset our state of mind? What if we think about one object or process that we utilize every day that hasn't quite fit our needs, and think about how to make it better?
You only need one notepad (no computers allow) and a pen to start sketching away with no limitations and create that world made of systems and objects that you always dreamed about.