Remember trying to solve riddles back when you were a kid? No, not the riddle of how to tease your bangs taller than Lisa Turtle’s or how to do that two-man Kid N’ Play dance without falling flat on your face.
We’re talking about those brain-bending word puzzles that force you think about a problem from more than one angle – and sometimes for more than one day – until eventually, enlighteningly, you finally figure them out.
Now that you’re a parent, you can get a whole new perspective on riddles. Because riddles are not only amusing mental games – they’re also a great way to get into your kid’s head!
Who It’s For: Kids ages 3 and up
What They’ll Learn: Problem solving, flexible thinking, how to be playful with language
Think helping your child learn something always has to be serious business? A priest, a duck and a sandwich walking into a bar would totally disagree. Try this awesomely addictive activity with your family, and your kids will be cracking wise – and getting wise – before you know it!
Who It’s For: Kids ages 4 and up (plus their younger siblings, if they’re into it like ours)
What They’ll Learn: Language, memory, creativity
What You Need: A sense of humor, or if you don’t have that, a book of kids’ jokes that you found for like five bucks in that weird “gift items” aisle nobody ever goes down at the grocery store
Like looking at art, but don’t like feeling pressured to come up with a bunch of insightfully pretentious stuff to say about it?
Just do what the Doctor and the Dad did this week – skip the museum and go check out an art show at your child’s preschool instead!
When your kids work on art projects, they can boost their creativity and develop fine motor skills. And when you view works of art created exclusively by tiny children, you won’t be expected to say one intelligent word about negative space, the avant-garde or “what the artist was trying to say.”
If you happen to be one of those parents who is also a totally talented, movie-making special effects whiz, you can create some truly extraordinary experiences for your child.
Here’s what we’re talking about, courtesy of DreamWorks animator Daniel Hashimoto and his three-year-old son James:
As amazingly fun as those “Action Movie Kid” videos are, you’ll be happy to know that you can give your little super hero some equally mind-blowing memories – even if you have no CGI skills whatsoever.
Ever since our kids first developed the ability to hear (by around 28 weeks after conception), the Doctor and the Dad have loved sharing music with them. There are lots of great scientific reasons to do it – music promotes kids’ language development, creativity and concentration, for example. But mostly we do it because it’s totally fun!