Monday, June 21, 2010

encouraging the "What if??" in kids

These are the new most favourite thing to draw with in our house, Twistable Pencils by Crayola. Sort of a cross between a pencil and a crayon, they are bright and easy to draw with, but also have a fine point for more detailed drawing. I love them!!

Lately, Jumeirah has been "thinking outside the box" for want of some way to put it! We will be sitting in the car and the question comes " Mum, if you could have a super power, what would you like?" Hmm tough one... would I freeze time? Read minds?? ( hubbin tells me I wouldnt like this one which makes me want it more!) Click my fingers like Mary Poppins and have all sorts of wonderful, cleany uppery stuff happen?? Whilst I was wishful thinking away, she told me " I would like to fly". Oh yeah that would be awesome too :)

When we got home, we read a princess book, I gave her the question, " If you were a princess what would you be like?" and she raced off to draw a picture of herself as a princess for her " project".

Its such a great picture and I love the way she sees herself as a princess, kind caring and a great sharer. She'd be a wonderful princess :)

Over the weekend, she talked about what she had done in school that week which was Aboriginal stories or "Dreamtime stories" (How the birds got their colours, How the kangaroo got its tail etc) and seeing as shes been in a creating mood, I suggested she write her own.
I asked her to pick an animal she wanted to focus on, and then to pick something about them eg a body part, a particular ability of that animal etc. I gently suggested a Giraffe and his long neck, but she said "a starfish". I had no idea where she was going with this one and she would not be persuaded to pick a different she set to working out her story.

This is her story of how the Starfish got its suckers.

(this page is my writing as she couldnt write fast enough and was getting frustrated)

Kind put me to shame really. But it was a fantastic activity for her to stretch that incredible brain of hers.

Story writing, make believe and "what ifs?" give a child a great opportunity to really "think outside the box", and allows them to explore and create from their own imagination. I was totally surprised at how limited my own imagination has become in comparison. I loved being a part of this whole process with her, watching her story unfold, amazed that she was able to work out the plot and ending for herself, and blown away by her ability to create a story that was interesting and clever.

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