ARE you asking your kids boring questions?
All experiences are not created equal. My goal as a parent is to optimize fun and learning and both go hand in hand.
A simple trip to the hardware with kids in tow can open up all sorts of creative ideas and build curiosity in a ways we can NEVER anticipate…but it starts with thinking differently, slowing down and being interesting yourself because if YOU aren’t interesting…it’s hard to find interesting questions to ask your kids.
Here are some basic questions that can arise from a jaunt to the hardware:
- What do you think this tool is used for?
- Which machine in this section looks like it would cut steel? Why?
- Why are there different sizes of nails?
- What’s the bubble for in the spirit level?
It’s unfortunate to know how many people spend their time in shopping malls with the kids. Of course, if shopping needs to be done there is little choice in the matter but what happens when there is no soccer or hockey games, no swimming lessons and no visiting friends and family day.
Do we go to a mall or choose something that can open kids up and blow their minds?
So are you ready to find out where Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world takes his kids for fun? A man who can buy a small country and take them to just about any experience money can buy??
Try The Dump!
That’s what he wrote a few weeks ago when Bill Gates participated in an open online conversation on Reddit.com, where he took questions on anything and everything for a few hours.
When asked, “What would be your definition of a chill and fun day?” Bill responded with “I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica and missile Silos in Arizona”
Wow, the garbage dump! How extraordinary! Here is someone who really understands that if you want to stretch your kids minds to places it’s never been, build new neural pathways and inspire a greater and deeper understanding of the world around them, then you need to expose them to things that are radical!
Radical experiences for Radical learning!
If you’re stuck on what you can learn at the dump? Here’s some conversations topics you can run with…
1. Recycling (why and when we do it; environmental costs of not doing it)
2. Waste (waste in 1st world vs 3rd world; show them a video of people sifting through garbage on youtube to really see the duality between poverty and abundance)
3. Food Consumption (talk about how food is made, transported, delivered, sold and disposed)
4. Packaging (talk about what materials go into packaging, what alternatives they can think of to excess packaging, resources used during packaging of materials)
Here’s another idea…find an old beat up electronic gadget that you can take home as a “dump present” and let the kids pull it apart with you. Let them sort through the bits of pieces of wire, springs and small motors and let them imagine what they could be used for, how it was made and who made them.
Their world becomes that much bigger when they begin to make sense of the how these bits and pieces contribute to a product as a whole. The possibilities are endless.
Being interesting is work. No one is born interesting. It’s about where we take our own minds and how creative and adventurous we allow ourselves to be.
This is the fundamental reason I believe that parenting is not easy…. because it always calls upon us to bring forth our highest and best self to the stage.
But hey, aint’ it worth it?
Oh and don’t forget to leave a comment and share your what ideas you have for melding learning and fun!
To Your Child’s Success,
p.s: By the way…. I have some exciting news coming down the pipeline. I’m very close to revealing it, so stay tuned.