How to get your children to eat their vegetables with Kichange!

We are fresh off of a fun time at Maker Faire this weekend where we spent Saturday afternoon in the Youth Showcase Area, surrounded by other makers, young and old. We got a chance to speak to lots of people about Kichange and learned of some exciting new use case scenarios, straight from the mouths of those most likely to know: kids!

One of the young innovators we learned from was a girl of about 10 years old. I’ll call her Sarah. She was there exhibiting a project at a nearby table with her older brother, mother and father.

Not long after they arrived, Sarah came up to our table to see what Kichange was all about. Chatting for a few minutes, I learned that in addition to being a maker, Sarah loved to sing and perform. But just how precocious Sarah was came through when I asked whether there was anything that she does or doesn’t do that seems to bother her parents.  In essence, she told me, quite confidently, that she is a model child and that she doesn’t have any behaviors that her parents find objectionable.  Of course, that made me quite envious of Sarah’s parents. So I probed a little more.

“So are you sure there isn’t anything…Like, maybe your parents ask you to do something that you really don’t like doing?”

Sarah thought harder. Then smiled, sheepishly, “Well…I guess my mom would like me to eat more vegetables.”

Aha!

“And, about your singing,” I continued, “I bet if it were up to you, you’d like to sing all day, wouldn’t you?”

“Uh huh! And, sometimes my mom yells at me to stop singing because when I’m in the shower, I sing so loud that the whole house can hear me.”

Bingo!

“Hmmm…well, this is how Kichange works. What if, every time you ate your vegetables, your mom gave you a Kichange. Then, once you earned, say, 5 Kichange, you could give them to your mom and that night you could sing in the shower, for as long and as loudly as you want.”

Sarah’s eyes lit up as she, I’m sure, imagined herself in the showering belting her favorite tune at the top of her lungs. Problem solved! She rushed back to her table where she told her mom of her proposal. Not long after, Sarah’s mom came over eager to find out what on earth it was that could possibly get Sarah excited about eating brussel sprouts. I’ll have to check in with them later to see how the new deal works.

Are you using Kichange?  If so, I’d love to hear the creative rewards you’ve come up with for your kids in the comments below.

ll share other insights we learned about how to find the middle ground between what parents wants and what kids want, in future posts. For now, here are few pics from last Saturday.

Members of a Local Young Makers Club stop to check out Kichange.

Members of a Local Young Makers Club stop to check out Kichange.

J.D. explaining how Kichange works to a captive audience.

J.D. explaining how Kichange works to a captive audience.

N.D holding down responsibilities at the Kichange table.

N.D holding down responsibilities at the Kichange table.

N.D. stayed occupied with lots of good help from our friend Makeda (and her brother, Jabari).

N.D. stayed occupied with lots of good help from our friend Makeda (and her brother, Jabari).