One thing you almost always see with a child is their non-human companion: a worn out blanket, a stuffed animal, a funny piece of cloth, a baby doll etc. Stuffies and the like are usually seen merely as a “comforting item,” usually used to comfort or to be held over a child’s head if they [...]
We’ve finally put together a full version of the stories told and illustrated by a class of 4-and 5-year-olds at Bolton Hill Nursery School. Early Futures has promoted those stories in earlier posts, but now we present them for the first time all together as a single .pdf.
What We Know About Being Here
The Earth Needs People
By Riva, age 5
I don’t believe that people can make their dreams come true.
We’re not fairies. The fairies can, but not us.
We have to die and turn into a fairy to get our dreams to come true. The point of being alive is to be shot and killed. That’s the way you [...]
Today’s question posed to my small friends was, “What do you think humans will be/look like in the future, really really really far away from now?” The first four drawings and responses were wonderfully reminiscent of the book Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge. In Year Million, a range of possible futures [...]
You Can Talk in the Universe / By Allie, age 4 (her twin brother is Nick who wrote “The Universe is Flat”)
“I talk without using my mouth.
I just say it and Nickie, my brother understands me. I send a word when I hum, Nick hears it. It’s a hum in my mind. It sounds like [...]
The Real Future / By Abigail, age 4
“I know something that is going to happen in the future.
It is the Sun gobbling up the Earth.
The only number I can remember about it is that it’s 1000 million months in the future. Maybe I know this because it happened to some other planet and a person [...]
There’s no disputing that the architecture/design magazine, Dwell, is a vanguard in the war of modernism versus the world. Page after page of spacious, shimmering structures sprinkled lightly by expensive modern furnishings seek to persuade us that Modernism is more than a style; it is a lifestyle.
Dwell’s motto, “at home in the modern world” promises [...]
In the past few weeks I’ve been focusing on obtaining orally told stories/philosophies from the children on their ideas of the world, not just specifically on “futures”, but on everything. Their voices are quite profound, as are their drawings from their ideas. Since there are more then one this time, they are being posted all [...]
Recently I came across the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. In this division they study (among other rarely researched experiences) children who’ve experienced a form of past life. After reading the brief summary book, Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, I found this subject to be incredibly relevant [...]
The Love of Hearts When the Dinosaurs Were Made
By Sylvie, age 4
“When there was love here we were happy.
It was the time of the dinosaurs where there was love. The love looked like the future. The love got swallowed by a huge dinosaur, he went off and carried the love to Africa and Africa [...]
The World’s Story / By Alexandra, age 4
“The universe is made of tiny round cells and the magic is how our cells join together. There is nothing in the space between the cells. Then they bump together and get stuck together and it continues until
they are tiny animals like jellyfish and plants.
The first people on [...]
How Did the Future Get People / By Riva, age 4
“Once upon a future the future was wiggling. The future was sad because the future didn’t have any people inside of it. It didn’t have people inside of it because the people were not grown up yet. They grew up in the nightmare time. There [...]
A big part of future studies at any age is understanding the differences and similarities between actual, preferred and possible futures. In order to introduce the topic of variable futures, a drawing project was set up for a class of my Pre-K students. In the first part of the project they were to draw their [...]
Here is a list of what the future is according to a class of 4/5 year olds.
The future is…
a place where you go
something happening now
a world that is like future aliens
somewhere you’ve never been
somewhere I want to be
something that is going to happen the next day
a place you’ve never been you want to [...]
What exactly should be included in future studies education for early childhood?
Firstly, let’s be clear, we do not want to study, project or pretend to know the future. Rather, future studies is about possibilities – creating radical peripheries that pull the central system away from itself. Ideally, we’d be able to adjust, retract and flourish [...]
FSxK is the name of the Futures by Kids study group with children. I had my first development meeting with one of the potential leaders of the group, Spencer David, age 6. Here is a transcript of some of the things he and I discussed.
Spencer David /
FSxK First Meeting/
H: Let’s talk about the future, let’s [...]
Direction, Decisions and Design all by Johns, age 5 / Computer Mouse Maneuvering by Heidi, age 25
A brief description of this picture /
You are looking at a future world. The purple gradient is the plane of the world. The object on the left is a lamp attached to a rope that hangs in mid air. [...]
Adventure Playgrounds (also known as junk playgrounds and work yards) are one of the most intriguing examples of malleable, participatory spaces that engage children, but they are disappearing every year and now in the US they are almost extinct.
The premise of adventure playgrounds is that they “are places where children can create and modify their [...]
The Future of Space / By Fiona, Age 5
“They built a new future because the future broke down. In January it broke down. The future broke because it was on fire. The big guy made it catch on fire. The construction people built the new future. It was one big building that people walked in. [...]
The Mouth of the Actual / By Neema, Age 5
“Once upon a time there was a princess and she lived in a magical world. This magical world was in the future. The world is flat and tired, because some war world bad guys shooted some of the Earth down.
The princess moved to a new [...]
The Land of Wonderous Future / By Sophia, Age 5
“One time a future exploded. After the future exploded, they built another in the future. In the past time when there was dead body of the rocky people on the shore pirates came. When the pirates came they turned to deadly skeleton. They fierced and scared [...]
The Future Eats the City World
By Grace, Age 5
“The future begins; there was no people yet and then there were.
They were born before they opened up their eyes. When they opened up their eyes they saw where they were. It was dark and rainy. They said, “Are we on Earth?” The people behind the wall [...]
Nuclear War Fun Book / By Victor Langer and Walter Thomas / Illustrated by Brent Richardson
The Nuclear War Fun Book is a spiteful child’s workbook meant to give children in a post-nuclear society ideas for something to do: “These are mostly postwar activities, but some prewar ones have been included too, so you can start [...]
R. Buckminster Fuller’s ideas have fully integrated themselves into much of the futurist and architectural arena, but his little known works on education are just as relevant. In Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth he uses pirate history to explain how specialization in education is a form of discreet, global slavery.
pages 22-31 (to view the entire [...]