I find people fascinating. We learn and grow. Our passions intensify or wane. I especially enjoy understanding what inspires and motivates children. As a teacher, I suppose that that’s a pretty handy interest. Below are five random activities that can help you better understand your children. I mean, why not?
1. The Favorites Game
With just a few minutes before bed, I have found out the most surprising information from my daughter. From her literary likes to even friendship woes, simply asking questions about your child’s favorite things can open them up and help you better understand their feelings and thoughts.
2. Visit a Bookstore
Talk to your child as he or she peruses the bookstore shelves. Is there a new series he likes? Both of my kids are crazy about Mo Willems’ Pigeon series. That tells me they are into humor. Does he lean more towards nonfiction and facts, or does he reach for those fantastical books? Is he into science? A visit to the bookstore can provide a wealth of information about your child.
3. Dramatic Play
Let them play dress-up. I discovered how much my son was interested in cooking this way. Dramatic play is a cool way to find out what your kids know (or don’t know) about what people do. Do they have any misunderstandings? Do they understand even more than you realized? It’s a fun way to learn interests and also further educate and encourage.
4. Play a Board Game
Wow. I’m always amazed at how much I learn about my kids during a board game. How they deal with losing. How they deal with winning. Do they encourage others, or is all about them the entire game? How long are the attention spans at this stage? The information just keeps coming!
This is a really fun one. My daughter made her own book the other day. It was filled with pictures of her family. Not only do I have a wonderful keepsake, but I also know how strongly she feels about her family. What will your child draw? Family? Friends? Current difficulties? Let them paint, color, build, and with little guidance from you. What a way to find out what they deem important at this moment in time.
Have fun playing, visiting, and creating with your children! I wonder if they will surprise and even encourage you.
Amberly Kristen Clowe loves to make children smile with stories, and if they laugh, even better. She is at home with a cup of coffee and a pastry. Amberly lives in Houston with her family, who just so happens to share her same zest for life. Amberly teaches both elementary and middle school students, and she hopes to learn at least one zany thing every day. You can find the first book in Amberly’s new chapter book series for children, Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash, where books are sold! Visit her website here.