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How to Foster a Growth Mindset in Kids Through Hands-On Projects

As children develop, it’s crucial for them to cultivate a growth mindset and at Teni & Tayo, we believe in this wholeheartedly. Defined by psychologist Carol Dweck, a growth mindset, is the belief that intelligence, abilities, and talents can be developed through effort, learning, and perseverance.

A growth mindset is rooted in the belief that abilities can be developed over time with dedication and hard work. Children with a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities for growth, embrace failure as a stepping stone to success, and are motivated by the process of learning and improvement. In contrast, a fixed mindset is characterized by the belief that abilities are innate and unchangeable, leading to avoidance of challenges and fear of failure.


Why is having a growth mindset important?

Encouraging a growth mindset in children has numerous benefits that extend far beyond the classroom. Children with a growth mindset are more resilient in the face of setbacks, more likely to persevere in the face of challenges, and more willing to take risks and try new things. They understand that intelligence and abilities are not fixed traits but can be developed through effort and practice, leading to greater academic and personal success.

Most successful people would not be where they are today without a growth mindset. Here are just a few examples.

Michael Jordan: Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Jordan faced numerous setbacks in his career, including being cut from his high school basketball team. Despite these early setbacks, Jordan used them as motivation to improve his skills and ultimately achieved unparalleled success in the sport, winning six NBA championships and earning numerous accolades. His relentless work ethic and resilience epitomize the growth mindset.

J.K. Rowling: Before achieving immense success with the Harry Potter series, Rowling faced rejection from multiple publishers. She overcame personal struggles, poverty, and setbacks, but continued to refine her craft and pursue her passion for writing. Her story exemplifies resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Thomas Edison: Edison is famous for his invention of the light bulb, but he experienced numerous failures before achieving success. He reportedly made over a thousand attempts before successfully creating a working prototype. His famous quote, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work," embodies his perseverance and growth mindset.

Oprah Winfrey: Winfrey overcame a challenging childhood marked by poverty and abuse to become one of the most influential media moguls in the world. She was fired from her first television job as a news anchor but persisted, eventually hosting her own successful talk show and establishing a multimedia empire. Winfrey's journey highlights the transformative power of perseverance and self-belief.


Even companies such as Coca-Cola would not be where they are today without a growth mindset.

How can hands-on learning/activities help cultivate a growth mindset?

Unlike traditional passive learning methods, hands-on activities engage children actively in the learning process, encouraging them to experiment, explore, and problem-solve.

Here's how hands-on activities contribute to the development of a growth mindset:

Embracing Challenges: Hands-on activities often involve trial and error, experimentation, and problem-solving, which teach children to embrace challenges rather than shy away from them. Whether they're building a structure with building sticks, conducting a science experiment, working on a STEM kit, or creating artwork, children learn that failure is a natural part of the learning process and an opportunity for growth.

Persistence and Resilience: Hands-on learning experiences require persistence and resilience as children work through obstacles and setbacks. Whether they're trying to master a new skill or complete a challenging project, children learn to persevere in the face of difficulty and develop resilience in the process.

Feedback and Reflection: Hands-on activities provide immediate feedback, allowing children to see the results of their efforts and make adjustments as needed. Through reflection and self-assessment, children learn to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for continued growth.

Ownership of Outcome: Hands-on learning empowers children to take ownership of their learning and become active participants in the educational process. When children are engaged in hands-on activities, they develop a sense of agency and autonomy, which fosters a growth mindset and a love of learning.

That's why at Teni & Tayo, we're tapping into the age-old African tradition of making things by hand. We’re taking a bold step back to basics where the thrill of making something tangible by hand reigns supreme! Through our classes and toys, we’re giving kids’ fingers a break from their devices and challenging them to go beyond what they think they are capable of. We believe in nurturing creativity and empowering kids to explore the joy of hands-on creation and to discover the thrill of crafting something truly remarkable.


Here are some practical tips for fostering a growth mindset through hands-on learning:

  • Provide opportunities for hands-on learning experiences in various subjects, from STEM activities to arts and crafts. See the Teni & Tayo product collection which has a range of hands-on projects for kids.

  • Encourage children to take risks and try new things, emphasizing the process of learning and growth rather than the outcome. It’s ok to make a mistake and try again!

  • Praise effort, persistence, and problem-solving skills rather than just their innate talent or intelligence.

  • Children learn a lot by watching the adults around them. So, model a growth mindset by demonstrating resilience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from mistakes.

  • Provide constructive feedback and encouragement, highlighting specific strategies and areas for improvement.

  • Create a supportive learning environment where mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning and growth.

  • Join the Teni & Tayo mailing list for hands-on activity ideas and educational resources.



Teni & Tayo Best Seller Collection

We're excited to showcase our top-selling products that promise to ignite imaginations and keep those little hands busy in the best way possible.

STEM Kit for Kids - Build a Solar Powered Car - Teni & Tayo - Captain Nosa

Build a Solar Powered Car

Watch their eyes light up as they assemble their very own solar-powered car! It's not just a toy; it's a lesson in renewable energy and engineering wrapped up in an exciting package.

STEM Kit for Kids - Build a Safe and Lock Box - Teni & Tayo

Build Your Own Safe & Lock Box

Keep treasures safe and secure with our Build Your Own Safe and Lock Box Kit! It's not just a DIY project; it's a lesson in craftsmanship and responsibility.

Charming Jewelry Making Kit

Sparkle and shine await with our jewelry-making kit! Let them unleash their inner fashionista as they craft unique pieces.

Smart STEM Building Sticks - Teni & Tayo

Smart STEM Building Sticks

Get ready to engineer, build, and innovate with our Smart STEM Building Sticks! Designed to enhance problem-solving skills and foster creativity, these sticks are the building blocks of future inventors.

Africa in a Crate - Subscription Box for Kids

Embark on a monthly adventure with our Africa in a Crate subscription box! Each month, receive a curated box of hands-on projects that teach kids about the diverse cultures, history, and landscapes of Africa.


By incorporating hands-on activities into children's education and emphasizing the importance of effort and perseverance, we can empower them to become lifelong learners who are resilient, adaptable, and prepared to face whatever challenges come their way.

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