I realized that it does not take very much time or even any special tools to stimulate a child’s mind!  Children are born with an inept desire to explore.  They use all their senses from the onset of birth: sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound.  As children grow and mature they still need these “tools” to learn and give them feedback from the environment in order to make connections and analyze new information.  As my daughter would say to “cultivate bushy dendrites”!

     We can ignite these small sparks of knowledge and discovery in each child by giving him/her opportunities to ground their knowledge in connections through simple day to day discoveries.  Here is a sample of an activity generated by a quick five minutes in the kitchen.
With just a few small berries and a child…

  • See if the berries sink or float.  Add other items you may be using for baking, and make predictions.
  • In a group of berries – which are the darkest, lightest, biggest or smallest…
  • Who has more?  Each grab a group of berries, guess and count who has more/less.
  • Blow them with your breath, then a straw, which is faster? Have a berry race:)
  • Cut a few of the berries. Before you cut guess – What is inside? What color will it be? What does it smell like? Does it taste sweet, sour, or bitter?

This list is far from exhaustive but just give them five minutes and watch the sparks fly in your child’s mind!!!

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“Teeter-Totter”You are doing a great job!!

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