Tag Archives: thinking skills

Montessori Triangles

Triangles for Geometry

Montessori TrianglesJust making a ‘toy’ like these triangles available to your young child builds creativity, to say nothing of the math concepts it actually teaches through the playing. That’s what I admire so much about the Montessori approach.

Intro to Math for Kids {Triangle Stars} – Carrots Are Orange.

There’s a good suggestion to use the printable triangle templates with craft foam for durability, but even poster board will do.

This is an activity you will at least start by doing together- see the suggestions in the post. I’m betting your child, if old enough, will then take it further without your assistance.


Their Brain and New Skills

BrainSome insights here into how our kids brains’ process learning new skills – and tips to help the process along.

A Child’s brain as they learn new skill.

It’s amazing how the brain functions much like a muscle– repetition creates strength, size, ease of doing.

But the BIG message here is that in order to learn new skills, kids NEED to learn to fail and it is an important part of the process of learning. They need to learn to fail EARLY, not later.

Comic Book

Writing Comic Books

Comic BookThis might be an easy way to get some writing done over the summer– what kid doesn’t like comics? Here are printable templates with all the boxes so the creativity can just flow and get down on the paper.

mikewatanabe.com – Make Your Own Comic Books.

If your child is resistant to writing, turning it into a more enjoyable task like comic books may just do the trick. Make some blank books and just leave them where they’ll be found and who knows what might happen!

Fairy Tale Fridge Magnets

Fairytale Fridge Magnets

Fairy Tale Fridge MagnetsJust like the letters on the frig that encourage them to play and learn, these fairy tale ‘story starter’ magnets do the same for creating stories and narrative.

Fairytale fridge magnets – NurtureStore.

Well before they learn to write, kids begin to learn the sequencing of stories and about beginning, middle and end. An open ended prompt like these homemade magnets encourage the development of this important skill.

Your child a bit under foot in the kitchen? Have him or her go the frig and use the magnets to make up a story to tell you. Everybody wins.

Sidewalk Soduku

Sidewalk Sudoku!

Sidewalk SodukuWhat a great way to take summer brain training outside into the sunshine– get that vitamin D along with thinking!

The Usual Mayhem: Sidewalk Sudoku!.

You can use cut out shapes or draw chalk shapes. Graduate from shapes to numbers, from a 3×3 grid to a 4×4 grid. Lots of possibilities here.

And if you need a refresher on how to play- here’s the rules for this shape based sudoku: http://math.about.com/od/recreationalmath/ss/KidsSudoku.htm

Graph Paper Drawing

Graph Paper Drawing

Graph Paper DrawingAnd you don’t even need to go buy the graph paper! You print it instead, and it doesn’t have to be little 1/4 inch squares, either. How about, circles, triangles, even hexagons! As the article says- where Art meets Math…

Graph Paper Drawing – Where Art and Maths Combine. – picklebums.com.

Perfect rainy summer afternoon quiet time activity. Challenge them to make patterns with their drawings to add yet another learning element to this exercise. Keep them thinking all summer long.

Tetris Blocks

Tetris Block Play

Tetris BlocksTurn block play into a strong learning experience with these geometric blocks. The spatial ‘thinking’ that goes into getting these different shapes to interlock is well worth the price of buying a new set of blocks.

Block Play – Tetris – Rainy Day Mum

And the blocks aren’t even terribly expensive, especially given the skills they help build: Janod 50 Geometrix Blocks

Toy Train

Early Problem Solving with Trains

Toy TrainUse their train play to train their brains!

What to do with Kids | Early Problem Solving with Trains | Inner Child Fun

The train tracks are a perfect prop for thinking about spatial relationships, how to get from A to B, and using those brain cells to think through a problem that won’t even look like it’s a problem, rather just part of the fun.

This is a good idea from handsonaswegraow.com, posting on the innerchildfun.com blog.


How to Improve Kid’s Communication Skills

WhyResearch in the UK has shown that a big piece of the job skills gap is communication. This smart post is about ways parents can help kids improve those skills starting at an age when they are capable of thinking through a problem and developing the reasoning necessary to make a convincing argument. Age 7 is apparently the magic number.

How to improve children’s communication skills – Sixty Second Parent

And it’s all so very simple- just start and continue to ask “WHY” so they develop the these thinking skills. As with anything, start small and inconsequential, moving up to bigger more important issues as they mature.

If only everything we parents were supposed to do to help our kids develop strong minds were this easy!

Sticker Tales

Sticker Tales

Sticker TalesKids LOVE stickers– so they’re a perfect prop for building those writing skills:

How to write a story :: sticker tales! – NurtureStore

You provide the raw materials in the form of interesting stickers, interesting writing instruments like colored pencils and pre-made little books. The kids bring their imaginations as piqued by the stickers and off they go.

Set it all up as a little activity tray as you see here and they might even just do it without any instruction from you. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?