Things you can do with children

Recently we released a new Udemy class of 3.5 hours properly named Raising SuperLearners: Prep Your Kids for Lifelong Learning. For a limited time, you are welcome to use this link and enjoy a very low launch price. Each new course we release comes with a list of exercises. This course is no exception. Here I tried to make a list that complements the guidance in the course. You will notice the exercises for children are not very different from the exercises we recommend for the grownups.

Creativity

Perspectives
Discuss a subject using thinking hats methodology. Choose a controversial subject within the age range of your child, from news, history, ethics. For example: should you buy a gun?
Bilateral drawing
Take turns drawing objects. Use both hands to draw (see here). Use different colors for left and right hand. Try to draw with one hand while writing a text with the other. Try to draw metaphors, like “the heart of the sea”, “Davy Jones locker” and so on.
30 ways to use an object
Try to come up with 30 different ways to use an object. Give special credits for approaching the subject from the unexpected positions. Also see this post. Take turns. Give tasks to each other.
Social games
When with friends play social games like charades. Also see this post.
What if?
Imagine different stories that could happen if our assumptions did not work. You may want to read this book.

Visualization

Make belief
Play an improvisation game, where each of you holds a role and now you play the role.
Character description
Try to imagine together a story or a character. What are the character’s motivations? What are its face and body like? What accessories does the character use? At the beginning, it is easy to imagine this sort of characters from a known universe, like star wars universe, medieval Europe, biblical times. The goal is to come up with as many details as you can, so you can imagine the character better than a living person.
Magical place
Try to come up with a place of extreme serenity, a sort of personal paradise, and describe it in details. Every time the child feels upset try to go to that special place and verify that the child calms down.
Story discussions
Read together a book: fiction, history or travel diary. Discuss everything described in the book, till you can visualize it. If there is a film, view the film and compare what did not come exactly like in the story.
It is OK to mix different exercises. For example see this post.

Attention to details

Hidden object games
Play together “hidden object” or “spot the difference” games. Also see here.
Synesthesia training
A bit older child can play this and this and also this games. Since these games were designed for grown-ups, you may need to gamify them with competition, prices, jokes and other fun stuff.
I spy game
The “I spy” game is more appropriate for younger children.
Did you notice that
When watching a movie or visiting a location, try to discuss various details each of you notice. The color of the eyes being the hardest thing to remember. This game is also a good incentive to review the movie. Can be done with everything one can find on youtube, so probably you want to combine this with “how stuff works” or “the biggest of..” search, as we described in the course.

Critical thinking

Two truth one lie
Tell two true statement and one lie and guess which is which. Take turns. Describe the logic you used to derive the solution.
True motives
When discussing the fiction or history, try to look for the hidden motives of people and characters. Why did they so or do what they say? What else could he do? What would happen then?
Puzzles
All sorts of puzzles and escape rooms will work. Do them with enthusiasm, do not be afraid to fail and never give up.
Negotiate/debate
Negotiate/debate with your child. Describe the negotiation/debate tactics different people take with pros/cons. Read this article.
Optical illusions/magic
Learn together optical illusions and magic tricks. Understand how the mind works, and how it can be easily tricked. You can use this site.

Wordplay

Citis/animals/names
There are many ways to play this game.
1. Start each next word with the last letter of a previous word. Take turns.
2. For each letter of the alphabet try to come up with a word in a selected category.
3. One person comes with a country and the other needs to name the capital or similar.
Rhyming
Take turns. Each one tells a line that rhymes, and forms a story with the previous line.
Scramble puzzle
Do not just play the game, try to beat it. For example check out this site.
Learn a word and use in a sentence
I think this game is cooler when you play a foreign language and try to make funny sentences.

This is a very short list. With time we will add more stuff. Enjoy. Share in comments what works for you.

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