Bugs, Bugs, Bugs…

The cool DI logo for our challenge!

I’ve sung the praises of our experience with Destination Imagination before, but I’m about to do it again.  We probably won’t start meeting with our team until November, but I just noticed the challenges have come out since I last checked so I got all excited!  Our team is a Rising Stars team so this year’s challenge revolves around learning all about bugs.  We’ll have to go to the Bug Zoo at the Natural History Museum and the Invertebrate House at the Zoo!  Who knows what else!  I think Destination Imagination (or the organization they spun off from – Odyssey of the Mind) is perfect for homeschoolers because it encourages the sort of socialization experiences that all kids need.  Last year, while I’m not saying they perfected this or anything, the kids on my team learned to work together, to negotiate with each other, to compromise, to brainstorm together and to generally have fun while doing it.  Plus, there is the creative component.  I’ve written a little about creativity here.  I think the way that Destination Imagination provides a structure and rigid rules while also opening the door for complete chaos within that framework is the perfect way to encourage creativity.

5 thoughts on “Bugs, Bugs, Bugs…

  1. I haven’t heard of Destination Imagination! I competed in Odyssey of the Mind when I was in elementary and middle school, and would love for my kids to have that experience, too.

    1. It’s totally worth it and pretty inexpensive. I know it costs a bit more when the kids are older, but it came to less than $30 a kid for the team I coached, even with all the various fees. I have heard of some other homeschoolers doing it, but not as many as I might expect considering that it seems like a perfect homeschool thing to me.

      1. Thanks for the info. I am thinking about getting a team together out here in VA. Any tips? What should I tell people about it? You can email me a response or post here for others to learn more.

  2. I may as well post a reply here. Krista, you should totally start a team and post it to NovaUnschoolers cause I bet a bunch of people would love to do it!

    What I would do is this…
    Get a team of 4-6 kids of the K-2nd age together (you can have up to 7, but I found that was a lot of kids).

    To me, this program basically sells itself. The idea of a creativity competition is amazing to me. It encourages teamwork and real relationships between the kids. The format of strict rules along with complete freedom within those boundaries seems like the perfect way to encourage kids to begin learning to harness their natural creativity. So tell people that – and that it’s not quite free (it ran us about $30 a kid last year) and is a commitment that requires a regular meeting.

    Start meeting in October or November (check and see when your regional tournament is). Start with a bunch of activities for the kids to really gel as a group. Do traditional team building stuff, but also just do fun things together. Eat a meal together or go for a hike together.

    Then start practicing for the instant challenge and start preparing the team challenge.

    Last year, we had a basic format to our meetings:
    * Start with a fun warm up, like freeze dancing or just something that got the kids moving and working together
    * Do a group activity that allowed us to work together and/or learn about the topic for the team challenge
    * Read a book and have a snack – we read lots of picture books about team building, performances, good sportsmanship, working together to solve a problem
    * Do an instant challenge
    * Do an improv exercise (We got a lot of ours from the wonderful book Kids on Stage)
    * Work on the team challenge by making a decision or reading a book or rehearsing

    We also tried to go over after we had done many of our activities. What went well? What didn’t go well? How could we do better next time?

    Hope that’s useful! Good luck!

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