How to Plan a New Project


Our kids are capable of big bold fireworks in this world and in last week’s post I talked about the best way to help them keep ideas sparking as they grow.

Fireworks quote image

Next is developing a game plan, because without one, many ideas get stuck before they get started.

Have you ever been so excited about an idea that you jump in, only to realize you don’t have what you need to make it happen? A good plan always increases the likeliness of success and we can teach our kids how to get prepared with these three easy steps:


1.  Use what we know. When we have a new idea, our brain automatically goes into a processing mode- putting together bits of information- visual images, memories, anything that relates to the idea. A good place to start is to ask your child to tell you more about their idea. Verbalizing it will help them to access what they already know and can use. This can also reveals information gaps- questions that need to be explored before starting the project.

Example: My son wanted to make cupcakes last weekend and since we’ve never made them before (!) we relied on our experience as cupcake consumers and imagined the ingredients we thought we would need (flour, eggs, sugar, etc).

2.  Research- Often our ideas are somewhat vague and we gather resource material and information to better understand our ideas and how to begin tackling them.  It helps solidify and clarify what we intend to do. So after you talk to your child about what they already know about their idea, find out what questions they still have. What additional information do they need before they can take action?

Example: Since baking cupcakes was new for us, we needed to find a recipe. Researching a recipe brought up more questions like- what flavor cupcake, frosting options, mini or regular size. We needed to make these decisions before we began.

3.  Gather Supplies: We begin this step with confidence when we have a clear vision for our idea. Brainstorm what supplies are needed to begin. As much as possible have your child gather their own supplies so they have an opportunity to develop independence and think through their idea on their own.

Example: After choosing a recipe, my son and I gathered the ingredients, bowls, measuring tools, and a stool so he could reach the counter.

A little forethought and planning can go a long way when creating something new, and the better we understand our ideas, the more confident we will be to bring them to life.

The next step in the creative process is to take action.  This is when the creative work really begins. The path can become murky as we pursue our ideas and we may find ourselves revisiting previous steps as more questions arise and new ideas are sparked. I’ll be back next week to discuss how confidence, curiosity and courage are instrumental to taking action and turning ideas into reality.



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