Left to their own devices, most little thinkers will find mind-enriching things to do, even over summer break. There are, after all, bugs to examine, stars at which to gaze, and all kinds of outdoor games to play. With any luck, you’ve snuck in a few big questions here and there as well, just to keep the ball rolling.
And now, with the new school year approaching (or already started, in some cases), it’s time to double down and really get your kids back into thinking shape. Even if it was a summer of sleeping in, video games, and blockbuster movies, there are still ways to hit the ground running once your child is back in the classroom.
Here are some tips:
- Beef up take-home reading assignments by digging up big questions from the story. Have young readers choose their favourite character or plot point and formulate a “why” question about them/it. With this question in mind, ask them to re-write the ending, or even plan a “spinoff”.
- Break out the crayons and doodle paper! Lots of kids are visual thinkers, and asking them to draw and explain their thoughts about a big question can be a gentle, creative nudge back into deeper thinking.
- Turn up the tunes! Choose a big question and ask your little thinker to sing about the answer. Do they have a favourite song that tackles this question? Can they demonstrate their thoughts through dance or movement?
- Ask big questions while packing their lunch. Why is important that each child get the same number or quality of snacks? Why do we think of some things as food and other things as, well, other things? Food for school can also be food for thought!
Keep it casual, and you’ll ramp up their little minds just in time to take on the big questions that come along as the school year progresses.
To all thinkers out there, may the 2018-2019 school year be an amazing one, filled with big ideas and fantastic conversations!
Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, be sure to check out our new resource marketplace, for lesson plans, hands-on activities, and lots of think-y fun!