Extraordinaires Design Studio
Our price: $39.99
This is the year your child will be asked to design all sorts of mindboggling inventions. It might be a source of light for a Spaceman, a remote control for a Super Hero, or a form of protection for a Pirate. Each Extraordinaire is a colorful character with extraordinary needs. To begin, your child chooses which Extraordinaire to help and an object to design for him. Each of the 15 cards has a picture of the Extraordinaire on the front and on the back, a little more insight into their world. If you are as conservative as we are, among the options you may find a few that are objectionable - just eliminate them from the set. With 225 design challenges across 3 levels, he will still have more than enough drawing, critical thinking, and fun for an entire school year.
After your child’s Extraordinaire has been selected, it is time for Research and Design, exploring the needs of his Extraordinaire, and using the Think Cards for inspiration. Once he is happy with his design and gives it a catchy name he will present his amazing new object to the family. Cheer, clap, and present him with one of the included award cards, he deserves it.
Extraordinaires Design Studio comes in a very nice plastic case that shuts with a magnetic closure. Everything is securely held inside the case including the 15 double-sided Extraordinaire cards, 30 Think! cards, 15 object cards, 5 award cards, 1 drawing Pen, and 50-sheet idea pad with product design challenge log.
Manufacturer: The Creativity Hub
Age Recommendation: 8+
My son is not typically a child who likes to use his imagination. He loves to build by the instruction book. He complained about having to do Extrordinaires all summer before school started. Now, it's one of his favorite items. He randomly draws a character and the invention it needs and runs with it. I think it gives him just enough direction to not overwhelm him but allows him to freely exercise his imagination (that he didn't know he had). We love it!
For some odd reason we didn't really take off with this because the characters looked weird to her and she was not interested after that but it did look interesting.
This was the item my son least liked. He liked the drawing part but not the question part. He thought there were other art options in the catalog that were a better choice.
My 9 year old is a good creative writer, and I wanted to stretch her creativity in other ways. She enjoys designing products for the Extraordinaires but she seems to struggle to really make them really unique. The "think" and "research" cards aren't detailed enough to help her think more deeply, and she ( and even I) often has trouble decoding information represented in the pictures of the character. I would have hoped for an amazing product for the price. As it is, she will enjoy it, as well as my other children after her, but won't get as much learning out of it as I would hope.
The imagination of a child is absolutely amazing, right? As a child, I remember making up these really neat products and even doing pretend marketing ads for them. My boys are the same way. They are always brainstorming when it comes to unique items. Sure, like what I created, they are fictional, but it keeps their imagination alive and it's so much fun! For the past few weeks, both of my boys have been exploring fun and interesting inventions and designs using Extraordinaires Design Studio. We also really love the plastic case it comes in. Perfect for using at home or on the road.
Note from Timberdoodle: Samantha reviewed Extraordinaires Design Studio as part of the Timberdoodle Blogger Team. You can find her full review on her blog As They Grow Up.