There are two ways to live your life. One, as though nothing is a miracle.  The other, as though everything is.   – Albert Einstein

Happy Summer!  The first week of summer has definitely brought inspiration for PLAY!  I have always loved to play.  Isn’t there something special about summer?  Hopefully, you are spending a lot of time outside!  

There is a lot of research on how powerful play is for children (and adults), but in this series, the focus will be ways to incorporate critical thinking into play.  I was inspired this week by a trip to the science museum with friends.  Look closely at this ‘tug-of-war’.  I watched it for a while, and guess which side always won?  A 6-year-old in our group quickly figured out which side he liked, but WHY?  What conversations could you have with your child?  


The museum is in Atlanta, but the question of fairness in games is everywhere!  How much of the game is based on chance?  How much on strategy?  Is it FAIR?  Change the rules of a game and determine if it is fair.  

If it is a strategy game, what strategies will help you win?  One summer, my nephew and I were playing Clue with a friend and her daughter.  We let the two children be on a team.  My nephew had never played, so she made most of the decisions.  He still didn’t really understand the game, but he was a good sport about it.  The next morning, he brought the game to me right after breakfast, and he wanted to know all the rules.  He asked great questions.  

He came up with the strategy on his own.  That is important!  Together, we brainstormed ways to make marks to show what he determined was needed.  It is our secret family strategy!  No, I won’t share it, but you can determine your own!

Have fun playing games in the evening this summer, and remember to include games that promote strategic thinking!

For a fast, fun, visual thinking game, try SET!  

Yes, outdoor games build critical thinking, too!  We’ll discuss that in our next post.

What games do you like to play as a family?  Please share your ideas!