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4th Annual Cardboard Carnival

Whew! What a week! We just finished writing, reviewing, distributing our prose reports (progress narratives we create in place of grades), and having parent conferences. We also (obviously) had Halloween this week. That makes for a busy day of fun.

But what I really wanted to write about was our super successful, 4th annual Cardboard Carnival. For the past three years we have held this event as a purely internal affair, but this year, due to an overwhelming amount of work from dedicated parent volunteers, we took the Carnival public. We invited people from the broader Malibu area to join us.

The Cardboard Carnival was inspired years ago by the video Cain’s Arcade: This story of a 9 year old kid who used his creativity and a pile of discarded boxes never fails to rouse our students to action. Every year our students have an opportunity engage in the process of designing cardboard, midway-style games. They are producers and creators as they take their games from the initial stage of brainstorming to the finished products being played by hundreds of people at the Carnival. They also get to share their vision and hard work with an authentic audience - even more so this year!

For us, creating cardboard games allows students to practice mindsets and toolkits that we think are important for happy, productive people. Kids take action, think critically, and live imaginatively in the course of this project. The Communications Literacy toolkit reminds us to think about the purpose and audience for our creations. The Design Thinking toolkit helps guide our process and reminds us of the importance of iteration. They solve a ton of problems!

Students also recognize the significance of bringing their own vision to light. Projects are filled with a bewildering array of topics: engineering, mathematical thinking, history, geography, space, ghosts, volcanoes, celebrity DJs, and more. Their pride in their work radiates from them!

I hope you’ll take a moment to look at our pictures and reflect on the importance of creativity, problem-solving, and personal investment in your work!

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