Think Like a Kindergartner

One of the keys to developing one’s ingenuity is to give your mind the opportunity to think creatively and invoke the good ole’ KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) concept, or just think like a kindergartner.

The other day I took my five-year-old son over to basketball practice, which happens to take place at the school he goes to every day.  This is always a big event for the family and we usually take two cars just for comfort’s sake as we now have three children.  As we were leaving the building and headed toward our car I started wondering about my son’s sense of direction. Had he developed it yet? How far could he get in his thinking this way? Could he direct me which way to drive and turn in order to get us all the way home (which is maybe a half-mile or so with just a few turns)? Does he know “the best way” to get home? Could he possibly know alternative ways to get home?

So, after we got ourselves and our things packed into the car and ready to go, I turned on the car and decided to ask him, “Can you tell me how to get home from here?” I just love the answer I got back.  He said, “Yea! You see that car right over there? That’s Mommy. Follow her.”

As we’ve fallen in our society toward schooling our children rather than educating them, we kill their creativity, as Sir Ken Robinson points out so nicely in this TED talk. As my friend, author, informal educator, and former engineer, Harry Roman says, “we tend to cure curiosity of our children” rather than giving them experiences that are designed to encourage and develop it.  Though we’d like to think schools have overcome this, especially high schools, they have not.  Yes, it is true that schools and instructional practices are still so much like they always have been and are probably not too far from what you may remember.

Creative thinking is one of the cornerstones and keys to ingenuity and it takes time and experience to make sure our kids either don’t lose it in the first place or help them get it back.  To do this we have to provide coursework and experiences and activities to our kids that make sense and that is designed to develop creativity and ingenuity.

What are some other examples of being able to think like a kindergartner? What are some ways to teach older children to keep thinking like a kindergartner? What types of activities are best for developing creative thinking?



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