Tag Archives: teamwork

Why DI?


At our state DI tournament, they asked kids to stand who have done DI for four or more years. My kids and one of their teammates stood up. For a moment, the other team manager tsked them to sit and I thought, hey, wait… But they were right. We’ve done Destination Imagination since kindergarten, making this our fourth year.

It was our first competitive year (K-2nd teams have a special non-competitive category). We won our regional tournament and placed fifth in our state tournament. I’m so proud of all the hard work my kids and their team manager did. While she was navigating the intricacies of competitive DI, I was coaching the younger team in a much simpler challenge.

I have said it before, but I’ll say it again. Homeschoolers should consider doing Destination Imagination (or the similar organization Odyssey of the Mind – check your area and see which one has a stronger local organization as they are nearly the same). There are so many reasons, but here are a few:

  • DI teaches kids to work together as a part of a team.
  • DI teaches kids confidence to go into new situations and think on their feet.
  • DI teaches kids to think outside the box and come up with solutions to problems.
  • DI helps kids practice building and engineering in all kinds of ways.
  • There is a sense of accomplishment and pride for kids who complete a central challenge.

Destination Imagination does all this in a way that is fun and feels absolutely genuine, as opposed to many of the attempts I’ve seen to teach these teamwork and creativity skills in a school setting. This is real “group work” that’s much more like the kind you might be asked to do in a workplace one day, though it will probably involve fewer popsicle sticks and mailing labels than a DI challenge.


First Win

photo (92)This is the first year Mushroom and BalletBoy’s Destination Imagination team has entered the competitive level of the tournament.  The younger teams have a special, non-competitive category.  They chose Project Outreach, a service challenge where they had to help a community and make a movie.  BalletBoy headed up their movie and we went to the tournament last weekend.

Much to our surprise and delight they won!  They only had to beat one other team in their division, but it was a team of older kids wearing awesome homemade Duck tape vests.  Now we’re going on to the state tournament.

As they wonderingly analyzed their medals and discussed the win while cuddled up on the sofa with me, I pointed out that this was the first medal they had ever won.  They’ve gotten medals for soccer and other activities, but they’ve always been participation awards.   They’ve also won prizes that were by chance, such as through a lottery.  This was their very first medals for something that took hard work and effort.

I told them to take a mental picture of how it felt to win and hold it in their heads.  As you get older, they don’t give you a medal for just showing up anymore.  You have to work hard and even then you won’t always win.  But when you do, it feels excellent, just like this.