Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kids Have the Best Ideas

I am thankful for a lot of things. Recently I was reminded how thankful I am for kids' ingenuity and creative thinking. I continue to be amazed at how kids use materials in different ways, coming up with ideas that I would have never thought about.

A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about being thankful for food and other things. I set out a basket of fruit, a digital scale, pencils, and paper. My thought: weigh the fruit and, possibly, jot down the numbers. Some kids did just that. They weighed one piece of fruit or several pieces of fruit.

But one boy had some other ideas. He loaded all the fruit on the scale and then he added something else.

He carefully balanced the fruit and the basket on the scale and recorded the numbers he saw. Then he proceeded to remove the basket and one piece of fruit at a time and record the changing numbers.

I would have never imagined adding the basket to the top of the stack of fruit. If I wanted to weigh everything, I would have set the entire thing on the scale...not moved it piece by piece and added the basket on top. I love the creative thinking. I love how kids try things in ways that are so different.

Watching the kids throughout the morning, I saw them trying different things in weighing the fruit. They had a ball, investigating weight and fruit and numbers. And I enjoyed seeing the different ways they think.

Photos: R. Scott Wiley


  1. I really should get a digital scale. We have several traditional balance scales, and they lend themselves to great exploration, but I like this! Thanks.

  2. I know what you mean. It blows my mind how they will keep expanding an activity sometimes. A few weeks ago I put out craft sticks with pictures of different things they could try to build using the sticks. That's where they started, but then they created other things. Then came the glue to preserve their designs on paper, next a story to go with their designs, and then thinking about who they could give their designs to as a gift. I loved it!

  3. Ha - that is too funny! The pictures really help me appreciate this little boys way of thinking. I love it - his approach to weighing the fruit seems much more intriguing!