A Plug and Play T-Shirt Designed to Boost Creativity in Kids

A few years ago, I sat down to make a birthday gift for my little friend Charlie who was turning four. As the boss of my own graphic design business, I spend not only entire days sitting in front of a computer, but also too much time worrying about serious grown-up things like strategic planning, budgets, and making the right decision. So sitting down to play with something—whether it's fabric or vegetables—is something I really love and crave in my life. I try to not only have a bit of fun and take my mind off all the things I get worked up about each day, but also remind myself that in those moments of play, when it doesn't matter what the outcome is—real magic happens. Magic that impacts the course of all that "serious" business.

So when this sweet little idea emerged during my afternoon crafting session—a button holding a stack of felt shapes on the front of a baby T-shirt—it seemed a little bit silly, but mostly really great. That little stack could be a sandwich, a flower, sushi, a dump truck, a monster, ice cream, ANYTHING! And it turned out to be a hit. Charlie loved taking this first prototype apart and putting it back together—and whatever combination she made, she got to wear it around all day too. So I made another one, and another, and another until I had a whole bunch of different designs.

The Itty Bitty Project was born.

At my studio and other kids' birthday parties, I loved watching what kids would do with all the pieces. I saw two little friends putting their tees together side-by-side, swapping bits and coming up with their own ingenious combinations. They were certain that eyeballs belonged in outer space. An aspiring chef even asked his mom, “Can I have bacon and egg on my pizza?”

When a friend's three-year-old got her Itty Bitty Monster T-shirt, she instantly named it Shiny and had an extensive conversation with it, as it hung on the towel rack during her bath time.

This clothing concept was brimming with creative potential in all of its possible permutations, and also empowering little ones to make their own very important decisions, to experiment with convention, and to find an arrangement that could be satisfying one day, then changed the next. In this way, the Itty Bitty project is for all big people who want to nurture the innovative spirit in their little ones.

There is no "finished," no "done." Creativity doesn’t have to have a fixed goal. It’s important to have freedom to explore, reinvent and reimagine, without the fear of failure.

And if the little ones can do that much with just a T-shirt, imagine what they could do with everything else in the world around them?

We are starting out with a collection of eight T-shirt designs, each with a kit of six to eight bits that either snap or button onto a little T-shirt. We’re constantly working on sketches to expand our themes into new designs so more and more bits can be rearranged in more and more interesting combinations. And because grown-ups have been asking for it, we are also making selected designs available in adult sizes. Birthday party sets, DIY kits and educational gift boxes—with additional items, including a little book full of interesting facts about the theme of the given shirt are also in the works.

And while the Itty Bitty project is meant for little ones, it's also a reminder for all of us to take ourselves a little bit less seriously. To indulge in creativity that triggers the magic from life's "serious" business. And if you do things one way one day, that doesn't mean you can't do them differently another day.

Support the Itty Bitty Project on Kickstarter now until Wednesday, August 7.

This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.


This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

via WFMZ / YouTube

John Perez was acquitted on Friday, February 21, for charges stemming from an altercation with Allentown, Pennsylvania police that was caught on video.

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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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