AtmosFlare 3D is changing the way the world creates art and partnering with us for this discussion on the importance of teaching teens to think in the abstract.
When we think of the word “abstract,” most often we associate it with concepts such as emotions and spirituality. We may also think of abstract art or a synopsis of a book or speech. In fact, the term “abstract” holds many meanings depending upon its context. For our purposes today, we’re going to focus in on the aspect of abstract thinking – the ability to “think outside the box,” to envision an idea and connect the dots to bring it to reality.
Simply because we are doing our teens a great favor by helping them to improve this skill!
I know I want my sons to get into the colleges of their choice and the freedom to explore any profession they choose. No matter how intelligent they may be, as the old adage goes, practice makes perfect… and it also helps gift my sons a more competitive edge when their being considered by colleges and scholarship programs.
This is one of the skills many famous engineers, scientists, architects and artist possess. Abstract thinking is also a skill that will serve your child well throughout their school years, especially when it comes time to take their pre-college exams. We are all capable of abstract thinking and many of our children may already have developed a keen sense, but there’s always room to inspire them and hone the skills further. One of the easiest and perhaps the most fun way to encourage your child to think in the abstract is by involving them in arts and craft projects.
Now, not just any arts and craft project will do. Projects with step-by-step instructions and/or illustration rely mainly on concrete thinking skills. If the vision is already laid out and defined, there’s little room for the imagination (where abstract thought thrives.) What you want to introduce is a free-form arts and craft project that relies on their ability to conceptualize the final product and then connect the dots to themselves to arrive at the final work of art.
Free-form drawing and painting are good outlets to begin with. It’s also fun to simply put together a table full of a variety of craft mediums and encourage your child to use them in mixed media fashion to create a new vision. In today’s electronic age, many pre-teens and teens may be more receptive to modern art products like AtmosFlare which allow user to create models out of thin air.
Creating objects out of thin air? Do I have your full attention?
I know that immediately diverted my sons’ attention from their video apps, arousing their curiosity to try out a cool new technology… and that, in itself, is an achievement!
The AtmosFlare 3D capabilities are awesome, but there is definitely a trick to it. First, you really have to think about what you’re going to draw, which is where abstract thinking comes into play. Because you’re drawing something that’s going to actually build upon itself, you have to really consider your strategy beforehand. You can’t just scribble something in the air and expect it to come out the way you want it. That method will leave you with a big mess. Think about sculpting with a tube of toothpaste or a hot glue gun – it’s a little bit like that, though AtmosFlare ink hardens with light and you end up with a finished product.
This cool tool may inspire your child to develop the automobile of the future or simply create a home for their favorite stuffed animal – whatever avenue they chose, they will have to envision the outcome and steps along the way to connect the dots and bring the object to life. Check out our demo:
The possibilities are endless – you can create toys to play with or art to hang (I saw someone post a picture of an entire room full of his own 3D created planes hanging from the ceiling), or you can just use the AtmosFlare to give your creative side an outlet. In our case, creating 3D art makes a great snow day activity, and the boys enjoy coming up with ideas of what type of things they want to make as much as they enjoy the actual process of creating them.
The kit comes with everything you need to get started. Included are 4 different tips, 2 different ink cartridges, a battery, and of course, the pen. Ink refills come in 12 colors.
Side note: changing the refill colors isn’t difficult, but because the designs build on themselves, it can be kind of a pain in the neck to change the refill color to add a spot of yellow to something red and then to change it back again to finish the piece. This is all the more reason it pays to encourage abstract thinking to plan ahead on your design!
In addition to being a great tool to use to inspire your teens to flex their abstract thought muscles, AtmosFlare is an awesome concept and it makes a perfect indoor activity. As you can see, my sons had great fun with ours! Now that I’ve found a great tool to help them think in the abstract, we’ll certainly be encouraging regular play with it.
If you wish to incorporate AtmosFlare into your continued education efforts or simply wish to have oodles of fun creating 3D art, you’ll find more information at http://www.atmosflare3d.com/
What steps do you take to enhance your child’s learning in new and exciting ways? Do you have a favorite activity you use to encourage your teens to think in the abstract?