Are we teaching our children to think inside or outside the box? Is there a box?! ; )
An important social skill for our children is flexibility. Many children can be strong-willed and with that can come rigidity. They have time “flexing their brains” to shift from one activity to the next or one thought to the next or even one emotion to the next. They tend to stay stuck and inflexible. This doesn’t serve them in the long run and makes friendships and classroom learning quite challenging.
Here is a fun activity to introduce your child to see the same thing from a different perspective without any right or wrong answers. This is an enjoyable activity that teaches them to feel more comfortable in “the grey zone”.
We set up each child with squares made from construction paper. (2 red, 1 green, 1 orange, 2 blues and 1 purple), a hole puncher, scissors, glue, a large piece of paper and markers.
We watch the animated video of the book Perfect Square by Michael Hall. You can click here for the video!
This is the story of a perfect square that undergoes several transformations. At first the square is cut and poked and turns itself into a fountain. Play the video that show the square being cut into strips then pause it before it’s transformation. Have your child cut up their first square and make holes to resemble what they see in the story. Then encourage them to transform their scraps to make something out of it and stick it to their large paper. Continue this activity the same way for each colored square from the story. (You can also use this PDF)
Make sure that throughout the story you praise your child on flexing their brain and thinking outside the box. Also share what you would make from the scraps. You can relate this flexible thinking to other events in their lives.
By teaching flexibility though art and play, we allow children who are very rigid to explore this “grey zone” without feeling pressured.
Try it! Enjoy!