+ have a sense of wonder
Sometimes kids avoid trying new things because they're afraid of failing. New things can make them feel insecure and anxious. With consistent avoidance, they may begin to miss out on experiences and lose their sense of wonder. But great benefits come from struggling and making mistakes. Brain research proves that challenging experiences actually cause our nervous systems to strengthen and our brains to grow.
Trying new things inspires kids to have a sense of wonder, take risks, make mistakes, problem solve, learn, persist, overcome and grow. All of these strengthen their self-esteem, build their courage and enthusiasm for new challenges and increase their engagement in life.
It's not that I'm so smart
It's that I stay with problems longer
– Albert Einstein
How do we teach kids to TRY NEW THINGS in ways that they learn best?
In the Happy Hunting Journal there are 4 activities that encourage learning, being curious, exploring and trying new things. Just look for the CARTWHEEL icons within the journal:
What I LEARNED Today (there are 2 of these)
Asks for 3 new things learned from the day. They can be minor or major, school-related or something else. The message is that what we learn becomes a part of who we are. When we reflect on and express what we've learned we own it on a much deeper level.
HAPPY GOOFY Words
Fills a page with words that are unusual and kind of goofy sounding. Kids are first asked to explore them and be curious about their meanings. Next, they try new things by creating some goofy words of their own. This allows them to take risks and become more playful with language.
"An artist is an explorer". With this activity kids choose objects from their surroundings and turn them into characters, maybe giving them personalities related to their function, maybe not. The goals are to try new things and see things differently.
In the Happy Hunting Book:
Liza’s took a risk and tried something new when she went on a hunt for her happy. Reading, asking questions and talking about how her sense of wonder led her to learn and grow are great ways to explore trying new things and seeing where they take you. Making mistakes required!
Visit our TRY NEW THINGS Pinterest boards for more research and resources