This summer, lots of kids will think that "thinking" is on vacation. They'll find things to do (humans always do!)…but what will they be doing? How can you guide them (sneakily, of course) to keep in mental practice?
I found this video on YouTube…check it out. It's thought-provoking and likely to prickle just a little guilt. But be brave! It might suggest what we adults can do to stimulate creativity and thinking? How can we use resources that involve and intrigue our kids to keep their developing brains on a path of developing minds?
Read on for some suggestions:
- Encourage reading everyday…just a little. Try the comics section of the newspaper; subscribe to a kid's magazine and read it with them; Create a reward system for completing a book by a specified time period.
Limit computer game playing (maybe use it as a reward for reading). Choose games that require logic or strategies in addition to action-packed "thrills" or time-spending "solitaire"; encourage older kids to teach younger children how to play an age-appropriate game; talk with your kids about the games they are playing and why they are interesting to them.
At least once a week, watch a movie together…and talk about it afterwards. Select movies that have a theme of family adventure or conflict that will be resolved. Make it a double-feature–I'll watch what you want after you watch what I want.
Talk WITH each other. Our texting-savvy kids would benefit from real-time interaction in which clarity and precision matter–and when statements, questions and comments are longer than 140 characters and abbreviated slang must be explained.
Don't call it "school"…and don't call it "communication"…and don't use the word "learn" or "teach". Instead, envision interaction with your kids as an opportunity to understand them better and to guide them toward observation, exploration, analysis of their world.