This old-fashioned game teaches children to focus and takes about 5 minutes, a couple times a week. After all, what if to some degree, focus and focusing the mind’s attention is a skill set that must be learned? Inventing this game must have been fun, whatever thousands of years ago – and it works!
This attention focusing game is one you probably know and just never thought about this way. Put a quarter, a dollar or a cookie in your hand, get your child to see which hand it is in and then put both of your hands behind your back and ask them to guess which hand it is in.
Of course, it could be in either one – but children love the attention you are giving them to make this fun and sneaky cute playful game work and will focus their attention as if nothing else is happening in the room they’re in. Kids can outlast you too in this game, so you might want to say how many times they get it right to get the quarter, dollar, cookie or donut. (I’m adding donut because I like donuts and they work too. But so do toys and night-night kisses for getting it right along with the best hug.)
And yes, the child gets to eat the cookie, or have the dollar, quarter or toy when they have guessed it right. But watch how much their attention is now focused – on what your body language says your hands are doing behind your back and how many times your elbow moved indicated you switched it up again, and every time they get it wrong or right – they’re learning to focus attention when it is right now and desirable to do so.
Attention focusing is an important skill set to have and maybe our parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and strangers sitting in the lobby of the movie theater where we were all waiting just about forever to get in to see the movie did something good for us playing that silly little game that works so well!
This is a great skill game for learning to learn, learning to focus and increasing observation skills too.
P.S. Don’t stick the dollar in your pants pocket, waistband or use unfair advantage when playing this thinking skills game with children because they won’t try to genuinely focus their attention on it the next time.
Playing this old-fashioned focusing game with your child for about five minutes every so often and it is surprising how much more focused their attention becomes in other situations going on at school or at home.
Also – there are not studies on this claim about this game. I’m offering it because I’ve experienced it personally and seen how it works to increase focused attention skills in both children and disabled adults who are re-learning their thinking skills.
Most people know about brainstorming and have used the process at school, at work or at home to create possible solutions and to create ideas. This process is valuable to know and easy to use, once it is learned. Brainstorming for inventing, creating, making, building, innovating can be applied to virtually any area where it can-do solutions are needed.
There are only a couple rules to follow when brainstorming and it is easy to get side-tracked and forget them. They are very important for the process of creating ideas to flow successfully and generate possibilities.
The Two Rules of Brainstorming Are –
Reserve the critical and especially, negative barrage until some other time and that includes the thinking in those negative and critical terms, as well.
Letting go of preconceived notions of what can’t be done, won’t work, can’t work, doesn’t work and why it won’t work. Those valuable and critical analysis skills are hindering to the brainstorming process rather than helpful although AFTER the entire process has created possibilities, those analytical skills will come in handy.
Judgmental and limiting constructs of thinking are not helpful in brainstorming real solutions to real world issues, nor to designing and inventing new things that have never been done before.
Letting go of what won’t work together, what must be used for specific purposes and nothing else, what can’t be used for that, what can’t be bought, what has never been done that way, can’t be possible for this and what MUST be used ONLY in certain ways.
Not only does thinking and speaking this way at every turn in the process, deplete the energy for creating solutions, it does nothing else of value either because in doing so, no other solutions are generated or created by it either. Set that kind of thinking aside and put as quick a stop to it as possible or the process of brainstorming might very well miss rather than produce results.
It doesn’t prove anything nor help anything when creating new ideas and innovations through the brainstorming process, to express or think through WHY IT WON”T WORK or WHY IT DOESN”T WORK THAT WAY or WHY IT CAN”T HAVE THOSE THINGS USED IN A DIFFERENT WAY or WHY IT ISN”T RIGHT TO PUT THOSE PARTICULAR THINGS TOGETHER for a possible solution.
Not only distracting, these expressions don’t prove how much better one person is thinking than another in this situation. It is a waste of time – until much, MUCH later in the process of inventing and creating and well after the brainstorming portion of the inventing process is well over.
From the Oxford Dictionaries –
cre·a·tiv·i·ty – [ˌkrēāˈtivədē] NOUN –
The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. Synonyms: imagination, innovation, innovativeness, originality, individuality, artistry, inspiration, vision, enterprise, initiative, resourcefulness
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Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible or a physical object.
Brainstorming in three steps –
Decide on a problem to solve, something to create or state a question to be answered.
Generate ideas of possible solutions, turn it around other ways, seek other ways to answer the question or to solve the problem.
Writing down all – and I mean, ALL the information as the process of brainstorming and generating ideas occurs, take one more step and ask the question again for the subconscious to generate possibilities and solutions. WRITE THESE DOWN TOO.
Notes on the Process of Brainstorming –
In those three simple steps, the brain / the mind can begin assessing a problem, critically analyzing what it will take to solve the problem and generate possibilities for solutions.
Throughout the process of brainstorming, no matter how outlandish, silly, unattainable, ridiculous, insane, crazy, new, never done that way before or STUPID an idea or thought may be – WRITE IT DOWN ANYWAY without judgment. DON”T exclude ANY of them.
The reason for this is because the mind and subconscious will generate more rather than shutting down, if EVERY single idea is given the merit of recording it by writing it down, saying it aloud for a video or audio record of it and by putting it on a whiteboard, post-it note or on a chalkboard,
The fact is, some of those ridiculous, crazy and unattainable ideas end up producing other ideas or combinations of ideas – and sometimes, they even turn out to be the ideas and solutions that do work.
To not record those ideas which are judged along the way as stupid, silly or crazy, only serves to hinder the process, thwart the generating of more possible solutions and maybe even cheat you out of real solutions that can and will work in the real world.
Brainstorming is only one facet of generating solutions and creating ideas that will work as part of the inventing process. Among a group of people, focus groups and teams of people, brainstorming often yields surprising solutions that would not have been considered nor created at all.
Creative brainstorming is an amazing process and quickly delivers to the individual inventor or teams of people, large groups of possible solutions and novel approaches to create something new, to innovate something or to solve an existing problem. It also awakens the intellect, the subconscious and the creative mind to continue applying what is known and unknown to create solutions to the problem and to invent new ways to approach it.