Categories
Advice

Parents Guide to the Pivot

Making the Most From a Failed Experiment

As parents, our lives consist of constant projects and events in hope of bringing positive experiences to our children. Sometimes and let’s face it most of the time there are bumps and obstacles in even the most planned out days or activities. It’s easy advice to say make the best of a situation, but why not pivot and make the blundered experience into something else entirely. It’s better to have a great experience than to accept failure, especially with your kids. There’s no point in letting an obstacle ruin your family’s day and an event that your child may have already built up in their mind. Children are full of creative ideas and play. If they can make the most of what they have at their disposal so can we. 

frozen bubble

This is a quick example, of a recent fail turned into an amazing experience for our family. It’s simple but serves as a greater metaphor for the pivot we are speaking of. Just like many of us, we see something cool online or on Pinterest and think, “That looks so easy and that family is having a blast!.” We recently watched a video of someone freezing bubbles and then taking photos and video of them as they freeze. It looked like a great easy activity with very little need. I’ve been hooked on doing videos in slow motion, so the motivation was all in. We love inexpensive experiments and crafts. All we needed was bubbles and food coloring, which definitely won’t go to waste in this house. While normally these items are in abundance in our home we had used all of our reserves on other projects. Well, it’s a first-world problem, but finding food coloring turned out to take 5 stores, and well over an hour of time. Wow, who is baking so much colorful food? Oh, wait! Valentine’s Day! Well, timing isn’t always our strength. The bubbles were easy enough, a couple of bucks at Wally World. Nice, now we should have researched at what temp bubbles freeze. We assumed that they would freeze anywhere below 32. It was 20 degrees out, as it’s cold in the winter. We were all set and ready to go. We all had our phones ready and we wanted to give our first try a test run.

bubble

We had two bowls, one with a few drops of red food coloring and some bubbles. The second bowl was just a dish of plain bubbles. The plan was to blow the bubbles onto a piece of smooth wood. I wasn’t sure how to make sure they didn’t pop. They just kept popping no matter how hard we tried. Was this a result of bad bubbles, too much wind, or was it just a bad surface? I was quickly watching as disappointment started to cloud my family’s faces. It turns out it needs to be really cold (as in single digits) before the bubbles would freeze. 

Now, what are we going to do as our youngest child has been waiting all day for this? This is when salvaging the situation and pivoting to another idea saved the moment. It also gave an opportunity for a whole new more unique moment than the scripted events we had already watched online with the bubbles. Our dogs, that also wanted to be with us in the snow, saved the day. Our white boxer, Jake, had never played with bubbles before and happens to look hilarious in slow motion. We were able to take some amazing shots and videos of him hunting down the bubbles. So although it wasn’t what we had initially planned, we played and laughed as the dogs chased around the bubbles. 

It was a great experience and probably one that was even better than the freezing bubbles. The other upside is we still have all the materials to attempt our original idea on a colder morning. Bonus, we decided to make a short video of the hilarious Jake and his brother Cinna chasing bubbles in slow motion.