A girl inventor wants to build something truly magnificent. She knows what it’ll do and what it’ll look like. However, no matter how much she tries, she can’t get it right. It “isn’t magnificent. Or good. It isn’t even kind-of-sort-of-okay.” She becomes angry and goes for a walk with her dog. After a break, she examines her failures. After putting together what was right, she succeeds in creating the most magnificent thing.

Anyone Can Be an Inventor

The girl was never told that she couldn’t invent. In fact, many people found her “failed” inventions to be useful and took them home. If your child shows an interest in inventing and building, foster that curiosity. Don’t tell them that they cannot build something and avoid using gender-specific language like “Building model cars and robots is for boys.” Encourage your child, boy or girl, in their interest. In doing so, their self-esteem will be boosted and they’ll know that you support them.

Be Patient

As the girl is trying to build “the most magnificent thing,” she knows what she wants. She can see it in her head but she can’t get it right and she becomes angry and quits. If your child is having difficulty with something and gets angry, let them know that it’s normal but they shouldn’t quit. Tell them to take a step back and do something else for a while, like take a nap, which will let their mind think about something else. Then, have them come back to the problem with a fresh mind.

Learn From Mistakes

After the girl cools her head, she looks at the “wrong” things she made. There are parts of them she likes and now knows what to do to make the most magnificent thing. Teach your child that they can learn from their failures. What worked at what didn’t? If you know what went wrong, don’t tell them—it’ll take away a valuable learning opportunity. Instead, give them gentle nudges that won’t give the answer away if they ask for help.

Recommended Audience

The Most Magnificent Thing is recommended for children who have more advanced reading and vocabulary skills. They will understand the more advanced concepts of what it means to invent and how to learn and handle failure. Parents will also find the lessons to be a refreshing reminder that they also need to be patient and learn from their mistakes.

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