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Inspiration from a child

Experience the world like a kid

Sep. 30, 2021 -

Together with my kids I love to explore the world that we think we know as adults. A kid's perspective inspires and surprises! No need to travel half the world for an adventure: Fly planes, catch bad guys, solve problems, build and break stuff - (re)discover the adventure right at your doorstep!

This plane flies everywhere - yet it never leaves the ground (at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam)
This plane flies everywhere - yet it never leaves the ground (at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam)
Young pilots at the helm take you to places one can only dream of!
Young pilots at the helm take you to places one can only dream of!

One of most influential professors at the University during my Master education always challenged the students in the room: "BUT-, IS IT FUN?!" With all his wisdom he saw the need to remind young and bright minds on fun. When was the last time you had real fun? No, not just "nice" or "fancy", but real unbridled "FUN"? It strikes me that daily routines following your work and responsibilities have a tendency to induce dullness - taking the fun away. Fortunately, parenthood offers you a real escape - grab the opportunity for fun and adventure!

Go offroad instead of taking the beaten path - mud in the local park adds to the adventure!
Go offroad instead of taking the beaten path - mud in the local park adds to the adventure!
Stuck in mud offers an opportunity for the teambuilding effort to loose the jeep/spaceship/rocket - only adults see a cargo bike, ha!
Stuck in mud offers an opportunity for the teambuilding effort to loose the jeep/spaceship/rocket - only adults see a cargo bike, ha!
Look a little longer - do you see the bottom of this mighty river? Do you see the bubbles... making you wonder what hides underwater?
Look a little longer - do you see the bottom of this mighty river? Do you see the bubbles... making you wonder what hides underwater?
Amaze yourself with a kid's answer to questions like:
Amaze yourself with a kid's answer to questions like: "How do we solve this challenge, mate?" instead of presenting a "wise" adult solution.
Bonus points for looking badass at the local kindergarten's parking lot!
Bonus points for looking badass at the local kindergarten's parking lot!

Visit a nearby city, zoo or park and consider the journey an integral part of the experience. Your commute will never be the same after seeing the disarming effect a young kid has on people. Talk with strangers, ask honest questions, look at all the wonders of the metropolitan's madness. Learn to ignore the inclination to be quiet: one question can unlock wildly interesting interactions with everyday people!

Parent, Gorilla and Kid: who's watching who? Learn about nature by seeing, hearing and smelling the animals - a zoo offers so much more than mere entertainment with the right narrative.
Parent, Gorilla and Kid: who's watching who? Learn about nature by seeing, hearing and smelling the animals - a zoo offers so much more than mere entertainment with the right narrative.
Compare the zoo to the
Compare the zoo to the "wildlife" you'll encounter in the city's metro. Find answers for questions like "Why do you wear sunglasses (in darkness)?", "Where are you going?", "What's in the bag?"

Wipe away any emphasis on achievement and accumulation by destroying a freshly built block structure, you'll learn how liberating and how much fun this can be. Play with Lego and confront yourself with the implicit assumptions of our society: who we consider as crook might just be a nice guy eating an ice cream.

While parents often emphasise on building things, destroying structures can be big fun! Past creations and achievements should not hold you back - destroy them and play on!
While parents often emphasise on building things, destroying structures can be big fun! Past creations and achievements should not hold you back - destroy them and play on!
Discover the Lego world together and learn about our own implicit assumptions - about good, bad, wrong and right.
Discover the Lego world together and learn about our own implicit assumptions - about good, bad, wrong and right.
Do you see a crook with a diamond or a nice chap with a striped shirt eating a blue ice cream?
Do you see a crook with a diamond or a nice chap with a striped shirt eating a blue ice cream?

When was the last time you solved a puzzle? Do you present others with a ready solution or can you learn someone how to solve things themselves? We often choose the quickest way and simply present the finished puzzle - yet solving things together creates a shared feeling of victory!

Share the victorious feeling when you solve a puzzle together!
Share the victorious feeling when you solve a puzzle together!

Modern user interfaces in software are much like puzzles, especially when you haven't learned how to read. It seems hard to overstate the usefulness of having a kid look at your app or game. Great apps offer clues with animation, colour and sound to guide the player. Interacting with software using nothing but your fingers appears to be so natural when you see a young kid do it. Who needs a mouse or keyboard anyway?

Seeing kids discover your app or game learns you a great deal about how intuitive it is. Does it require you to read? Does it require a mouse?
Seeing kids discover your app or game learns you a great deal about how intuitive it is. Does it require you to read? Does it require a mouse?

Let's get physical! Explore the real world together by climbing, running and sliding! You'll be forgiven to forgo your usual round through the fitness club after playing outside with your kids for a while. Even your normal neighbourhood offers plenty to be discovered!

Why not take the John Deere to explore the world?
Why not take the John Deere to explore the world?
Go down the slope after climbing a
Go down the slope after climbing a "mountain"!
Only brave men take the tree top tour...
Only brave men take the tree top tour... "Will daddy follow along?" YES, you bet!
Mysterious markings on the slope - what do they mean?
Mysterious markings on the slope - what do they mean?
Combining water and sand offers a fascinating way to learn about the powers of the sea
Combining water and sand offers a fascinating way to learn about the powers of the sea
My kid's response to me explaining that if you dig deep enough, you'll reach the other side of the world - where people, relative to us, walk upside down
My kid's response to me explaining that if you dig deep enough, you'll reach the other side of the world - where people, relative to us, walk upside down

Don't skip the local pool or indoor playground! Tunnels, platforms, ramps and slopes will challenge you in many ways! You'll feel sympathy for Mario after going through tight tunnels yourself. Learn to build the trust required to scale the highest slopes and slide down together.

Does your kid trust you enough to know that you'll catch him?
Does your kid trust you enough to know that you'll catch him?
Going through tight tunnels will make you feel like Mario!
Going through tight tunnels will make you feel like Mario!
When was the last time you where trapped in a red plastic box?
When was the last time you where trapped in a red plastic box?
Going down together!
Going down together!
At the end of the day you'll feel exhausted beyond measure - but in a very rewarding fashion!
At the end of the day you'll feel exhausted beyond measure - but in a very rewarding fashion!

Conclusion

Given the limited time we have, one must carefully consider how to spend it. You don't need to get philosophical to reap the rewards of spending time with your kids. They are a great source of inspiration. Learn about yourself when you learn about the world together. Above all, they are a wonderful way to experience FUN! Where are you waiting for?

How many days a week do you spend with your kids?

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