MacGyvering – How to make do with you have during Quarantine podcast

Today, we are going to celebrate all the inspired, improvising, or “Macgavering” going on in the world at large and at home during this challenging time. 


Today I want to share an activity that you can do with your family that should help start a discussion about the definition and practice of Macgavering and how it will lead to much needed growth, innovation and recovery during this difficult time. This activity should spark a discussion that the same type of creative engineering that is going on in the world can be taking place right in our own homes and thus transform each and everyone’s life as we struggle through this

so that we as individuals and families can come out with new and improved ways of being.  

The art of Mcgavering is an essential life skill and now is the perfect time to introduce the benefits of the practice. 

Set up: 

In this time of sheltering in place do you keep hearing the term Macgyvered? 

We sure do. 

We hear it when it comes to making masks and other protective gear 

We hear it when it comes to providing ventilators….

We hear it when it comes to homeschooling,

We hear it when it comes to disinfectant

And so much more 

I think this term is a good way to hug what is going on personally, with your family and in our world as a whole during this challenging time. 

Macgyver was a TV drama starring Richard Dean Anderson that ran from 1987 to 1992. Dean whose character’s name was Angus escaped life-threatening situations by using his improvised engineering skills and cobbled together ingenuity.

Are you seeing the parallels? 

This is a time when the whole globe is trying to raise to the challenge of combating this virus, which has presented us with unprecedented circumstances, 

We as a people are trying to look at research, medications, habits, and instruments in a new way that might help us return to our normal life  

To Macgyver your way out of a situation you must be creative, think fast take a look around and see something in a different way, in a new way, in an inventive way, in a way that is useful in that moment. 

As we spend day after day within the four walls of our home is it not a good time to encourage our kids to do the same…..

To take a look around 

Take stock of what we need and what we do not need 

What items and things in our house and home are useful and which our not 

Which ones can we recycle or reuse in never before thought of ways? 

Being adaptable and resourceful are such great traits to instill in our young ones. 

In a world when is so easy to run out and get exactly what you think you need, it is nice to take advantage of a time when that is not an option 

This is a time where we are a country, a world, a family and people who want something that we do not yet have 

It is a time that it seems at least in part the quickest ways out, the fastest way to make this happen is to …..very simply put…. “MacGyver it” 

The Oxford Dictionary states that to “MacGayver” is to make or repair something in an improvised or inventive way, making use of whatever items are on hand” for example, “he MacGyvered a makeshift jack with a log”.

In the TV show Macgyver used a pair of binoculars to deflect a laser beam and fashioned a smokescreen from baking soda and vinegar

He jump-started a truck with a cactus

He used a Dorito, some duct tape, and a paper clip to create a time machine. 

Make use of this stressful time, MacGyver this time, if you will, encouraging them to 

find new ways to have fun, learn, laugh and love. 

The world will do the same, in time, and this planet will too engineer it’s way out of these darks days and into the sunlight with new ways of living, loving and learning. 

Reassure them that a whole team of brilliant real life MacGyvers are hard at work trying to find solutions to this global pandemic in big ways and in simple ways 

The Family Doings:

To illustrate the idea that we are getting there, 

that MacGyver-like innovation, discoverers and solutions

dedicated to getting us past this 

are happening 

encourage them to try it….

try the simple act of painting a picture. But ask your kids to come up with a way to create their own paintbrush out of something in or around your house.

Make them MacGyver how they will get their paint on their paper. 


Here are some of the ways my kids solved their Macgyver challenge. 

Q- tip paintbrush:

My daughter Meredith took a whole handful of q-tips and wound a pipe cleaner around them right in the middle of the sticks in order to hold them together 

and then dipped the ends of the buddled q-tips into one paint color and the other end into another color and painted that way …..the best part of this one? Two brushes in one! 

Leaf paintbrush: 

For this brush my kids got a whole bunch of fringy looking leaves and glued to the end of a stick 

Sponge paintbrush: 

Prentiss had the great idea of cutting up a sponge in the shapes and with the various points you want and weave a wooden skewer in and out on  the opposite end of the point for a handle

Try all or just one as you paint away and discuss all the MacGyvering you and your family will do and have done during this time of  togetherness. 

The Close: 

If you do this activity can you send me a photo Info at if you do you it will automatically register you for a chance win a copy of one of my books. 

Also please follow the Katie Brown Workshop on You-tube, Facebook and Instagram I swear you do not have to do any MacGyvering to it! 

Remember keep it Simple 

Stay strong, Stay safe, and Stay home.

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