Genius kits are used at schools, scout troops or parties to get children or teens developing their creative juices. Each participant or team of participants is given a box or bag with a variety of items in it. Each kit is exactly the same. Participants can usually use things like glue, tape, crayons and scissors that are not in the kit. Otherwise, they are to create something using as many of the kit items as possible.
Put one or two items in your genius kit that can be used as a foundation for the creative building that is to take place. If everything in the kit is small, it will be difficult for the geniuses to even begin. For example, a genius kit may contain one or more of the following: a sheet of cardstock, an empty toilet paper roll, an old CD, a paper plate, a 1-liter pop bottle, a paper cup, note cards or a small square of wood.
Remember to include a few items that will allow the children to hook different elements of their genius creations together. If you only allow glue, no tape, this is particularly important. Some ideas for things that connect elements are straws, paper clips, nails, string, wire coat hangar, tacks, pieces of dowel, toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners or Q-tips. Remember to include the same items in each kit. Be sure to include an adequate number of connectors -- if you only have one pipe cleaner in each kit, be sure to add some toothpicks or Popsicle sticks as well.
One thing that will add interest to the finished genius kit projects is an element of movement. If you include items that make movement easy, you'll have more experimentation and creativity in this area. Consider rubber bands, googly eyes, empty thread spools, corks and needles, Christmas ornament hangars and stiff paper. Participants could make wheels, propellers, cranks, engines or a variety of other moving parts out of these items.
For the fun final touch, include items in a genius kit that are simply for decorating the finished product. Consider a small number of stickers or labels, beads in a variety of colors, small rolls of colored tape, small pieces of cloth or craft foam. If your rules allow the use of crayons and/or markers, you may not need as much in the way of decorative items, but children and teens will enjoy using colorful items creatively on their projects.
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