Inventive problem-solving and creative play with the Olobobs.
The Olobob Top is a magical place where Tib, Lalloo and Bobble visit to help them solve problems. It’s very much at the heart of every story.
On the Olobob Top they find a bunch of spinning circles that pop into an assortment of shapes that are all different colours, sizes and textures. The Olobobs then set about creating something with those shapes. It could be a person, an animal, an object, a thing… But once built, Tib and Lalloo then ask Bobble what it is… at which point the creature comes alive, immediately ready to try and help them with the day’s problem.
This process of problem-solving through the creation of a new, unique character, using random shapes set before them, is a visible demonstration of creative play. It’s the golden thread that runs through Olobob Top, allowing the Olobobs to help themselves and use their imagination and skill in a fun and playful way. Children watching Olobob Top will see themselves in Tib, Lalloo, or Bobble, and in turn feel empowered to think through their daily worries and try to solve them themselves in an inventive way by using things around them, whether objects or people.
As imagination.org writes:
Give a child a cardboard box and some inspiration and imagination comes to life. We call this Creative Play, and fueling it is one of the most important things we can do to prepare children for the future. It develops valuable 21st century skills and prepares kids to be next-generation innovators.
We’ve always thought of the Olobob Top, as a parental space, curated by a parent for the child’s creative play. The seemingly random set of shapes have been selected carefully by an unseen parent based on the needs articulated by the Olobobs. Put them in the right places, stack them up, connect them to one another, and you’ll create just the thing you needed to help you on your adventure. So a little helping hand, unseen by the child itself, can just help to nudge them in the right direction, without robbing them of the empowering feeling they’ll get when they succeed in making something themselves.
Margarita Tartakovsky M.S., associate editor of psychcentral.com, lists 9 Ways to Support Your Child’s Creativity. Take a look if you can. Making time for developing creative play is really hard, but extremely rewarding for you and your child!
Perhaps Olobob Top can be a catalyst to a session of creative play, using everyday household objects and things like cardboard, blocks, dough, food or anything else that comes to hand!
You’ll see, as you watch Olobob Top, that things don’t always go to plan, and the Olobob’s creation doesn’t always seem fit for purpose. But if you’re not too proud to fail along the way, you may find that what you create is perfect in surprising ways you never imagined. And that the beauty and nature of true creative play is that of the journey and not just the destination.
– Olobob Top co-creators Leigh Hodgkinson and Steve Smith