Monday, August 9, 2010

Ages and Stages 5 To 6

For ages 5 to 6 children are very curious, and according to the May 2010 issue of, all those questions may try your patience, but they'll make your child smarter. "Curiosity is the driving force of intellect, notes Pam Schiller, author of Seven Skills for School Success. Kids' brains thrive on new experiences and activities, so shake things up with these ideas:

1. Break with tradition. Turn things upside down every so often: Have cereal for dinner or pizza for breakfast. Introducing novelty into your child's routine gives you a jumping-off point for conversation. Does your child know people eat miso soup and fish for breakfast in Japan? This shows your child that there is more than one way to do things, says Schiller.

2. Change the scene. Rearrange the toys in your child's room, then discuss the difference. Does it look better now? Is it less cluttered? Does this arrangement seem more inviting?

3. Rewrite the book. Mix up the characters and the scenery in the stories you read. Add a dragon to "Jack and the Beanstalk," for example. Ask, "what if" and other open-ended questions, like "What if the wolf in "Little Read Riding Hood wasn't hungry? How would the tale be different?

4. Make it kid friendly. Create a special space in their room, the den, or the basement. This is where anything goes (finger painting, fort building, pillow fighting) and exploration is encouraged.

5. Ask away. Show your child that you're curious about his/her interest by asking them to explain the difference between Ariel and Snow White, say, and getting just as excited about the dead beetle as they are. (okay, you may have to fake it).


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