Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Thinking Out of the Box Contd...

Another simple strategy to spark your little one’s creativity and the ability to think out of the box is to encourage her to give different endings to stories. It can be done as soon as children begin to understand the stories and the sequence of events in them. Fairy tales like Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood are the best to start with as the children are familiar with them due to repetition. Start out by saying ‘Let’s end the story in a different way’. You can do the same with nursery rhymes. You will find them fully engaged in this process. You may want to enact it out later with them and introduce a prop (simple dress-up clothes or objects) or two! Again follow the same principle - do not discard the children’s ideas no matter how unreal, unworkable or silly they are but help them give shape to them.

If at all they are not able to come up with anything, don’t be discouraged. You can give your own idea; it will definitely get them thinking for next time. Remember as a parent you will have to support much learning and provoke many skills especially in their early years. It may seem like a very demanding activity, but once you get started, they take on to it themselves. You will see them playing with their ideas by themselves or over play-dates when they pretend play with their friends. The idea is to equip them with a tool that will make them think differently.

Relating to my previous post - Jaideep and I have been playing Monopoly with our daughter on Sundays.  Before the start of each game, we decide on 'house rules', i.e. rules that we apply to our game that is not necessarily in the rule book. For example, if you land on GO, as per the house rule, you get 2x the amount of money compared to what you get if you pass GO.  After she had played the game 3-4 times, we allowed her to define her own house rules.  While some of her rules may have seemed bizarre, it created a new sense of excitement for her while playing the game every Sunday.  She recalled some of the rules on subsequent weekends, and even discarded some rules she had defined in her next game.  This has increased her creative thinking and reasoning skills.

Thinking out of the box can happen in many ways.  Hope you can share some instances with us.  

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