As I sit around my house watching my kids play with their now opened Christmas gifts, I am struck by how different my kids are.
One has opened his 3D pen, tossed the instructions and templates aside and is creating his own original dinosaur figure to sit on his bookshelf.
The other, is sitting building a lego set, thrilled that every step is laid out for him, shows him what to do and will have an exact model when it is complete.
Even as they watched me working to create this business, one said “Awesome mom! And you could do this, or this….” and provided a myriad of suggestions and feedback. While the other said “But mom! I don’t want to play my own way, I want you to tell me what to do!” Truth!
My point? Even in my own home, I see that innovative, creative thinking comes so naturally to some, like they are seemingly just born with this wonderful ability. I also see the importance of helping guide the ones who need it, to become more critical, open-ended thinkers so they are better able to make connections, problem solve and navigate this crazy world.
Is one better than the other? Absolutely not. But, wouldn’t it be nice if all kids could access these important skills from their toolbox ?
Ori and I have always wanted to empower parents to do what we have been doing in education and in our own homes for over 20 years, and this little idea of ours has allowed us to do just that!
Over the course of 2022, our goal is to not only provide you with a variety of new, fun and engaging boxes for your kids to explore, but also to give you tidbits along the way to empower YOU to help your own child/children become more out of the box thinkers!
One easy way to get your kids thinking differently is to ask them open ended questions. What exactly does that mean? Simply put, if they can answer Yes! Or No! to your question, it’s not open-ended.
Why do we care? Well, think about what this means for you. If I asked you “Did you enjoy your holiday break?” versus “Tell me one thing you did during the break that made you really laugh?”
The real benefit of open-ended questioning is that this type of questioning allows us to think creatively, and communicate on a deeper level with more detail. It springboards us into discussion of other topics, feelings and ideas. It allows our minds to wander and in turn, helps us problem solve and build confidence since there is not one right answer.
Okay, so that’s the teacher rambling. Want to put it into practice? Try a few of these with your kids and see what they say:
“Wow! Look what you made, what would happen if you turned it upside down?”
“What do you like best about your creation?”
“What was one challenging part?”
“What would happen if you put (A) with another toy you have in your room?”
“What would you do differently next time?”
And some general ones to just get the brain thinking this way:
“Why do you think….?”
“How would you do _______ differently?”
“Would you rather _________ or ______________?”
“What do you notice about….?”
If nothing else, I can guarantee you that you made your child think, wonder and/or question in a way that they don’t normally. And I also guarantee that they came up with some pretty great responses. And look at you! How empowering is it to help your child view the world in a different way? We are thrilled to be a (small) part of it!