Not everyone can take the summer off to build a dreamboat with their kids (obviously!). Last summer was a TOTAL departure from the challenges and reality of my regular work (I labour to take my product ideas to market, focusing on one at a time), though it would be lovely to have the resource to be so experimental in every day life, but I tend to work on just a few ideas over many years, but you certainly don’t need a lot of resource to be imaginative. I had to plan the time off from work really carefully and we had a lot of help from Channel 4 and the production company Twenty Twenty – but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream big with your kids and inspire each other to think in magical ways. So, rather than selling the car to fund a hairbrained scheme to turn the shed into a great glass elevator why don’t you try painting a magical vision of what you would do together if you could do anything and there were no rules.
The first thing Barney & I did when dreaming up the boat was to paint a picture. The way children’s imagination’s spill onto canvas through paint is a joyful art in itself, to accompany them in bringing such a vision to life is equally rewarding. So make no apologies, be as bold as you can be and dream up a futuristic fantasy – be it an air ship, a holiday house on the moon or a flying cat car – I don’t know, just paint it. And if you do, I really recommend you to find a nice canvas to paint it on (you can pick them up at your local art supply shop from about a tenner). We use acrylic paints and mix of brush sizes. You never know, it could be a future master piece or, as it stands on the wall staring at you for years to come, be the blueprint for a new adventure.
It seems that we’ve already inspired a few others. The sketch below is by young Eric (7) who watched the show. Now imagine that bought to life in colour. It doesn’t have to be real to be amazing. I’ll gladly host a gallery if anyone else wants to send their pictures.
Other than this, when people ask me how I’m entertaining Barney this summer I say I’m not; partly because he just got a big trampoline for his birthday and is pretty occupied with that & also, part of the reason I became an inventor was because I learned how to entertain myself at home through long and boring school holidays. Kids shouldn’t need constant distraction & entertainment – being bored is an important part of growing up – why else did we create games like Football, Monopoly, Tennis, Sack Races – these are all inventions, don’t just think about thing making – think about inventing a game. If Barney wants to do something he can use my tools (well, the blunt ones) and I’ve given him a pile of wood to play with – he’s got to find his own passions – but of course, I’m always there to help – and pull out the splinters.