Challenging Kids to Think and Express Themselves

Marvin_head_using_his_thinking_cap_lg_clr How can you challenge your kids but not make them suspicious of your intention?  Kids who have confidence in their communication skills are going to be more willing to express their views.  And, if our upcoming summer "vacation" includes a hiatus from thinking, how will they be able to get back on track in the fall? 

I found an blog post and a site you may want to visit and revisit.  The title of the post  might be daunting…but be brave!    The list in this article makes for a useful "maybe-to-do" list you can use to spark conversations, create a project, practice describing what words or an idea mean.  It can make thinking fun and conversations interesting.  Are you game?

For example,  here's some suggested discussion topics:

  • Is it a good idea to tell a secret?  Why or Why not?
  • How are your parents the same as and different from you?
  • What are the qualities of a "super-hero"?

Samples of Suggested "to do" Projects include:

  • Write down a conversation between a cat and a dog.
  • Write a note to put in a satellite to tell how good or bad Earth is.
  • Invent a new vitamin –how would it be helpful? Why would we need it??

Many of the items on the list may be too complicated for younger kids.  But if you use your imagination, you can tone 'em down or focus upon simpler aspects of the items on the list, customizing them for YOUR kids. 

Especially through the summer, kids often think that "learning" is work and taking on a project is against the entire purpose of summer vacation.  So, you gotta be creative and sneak in some verbal/thinking exercises as if you're "just sayin'…".  When you interact with them with conversation topics that make them stretch, they will be practicing precise descriptions, greater vocabulary and a willingness to express their thoughts.  What a sneaky concept!

To read the entire list, please visit:  Discussions and Thinking Exercises   You'll find a lengthy list of ideas you can choose to use…or alter as they fit YOUR kids.

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