We had fun in social skills group yesterday, and I think that you could do a similar activity at your house.
I introduced the concept of a “flexible brain”. A flexible brain is one that can accept change and can consider alternative possibilities and solutions. The opposite of a flexible brain is a (using the terminology of Michelle Garcia Winner) a “rock brain”. Nobody wants to be a rock brain!
This was our first discussion on this topic, so I wanted to do something easy to show them how to think in flexible, alternative ways. I used a book about homophones and homographs called Two-Way Words by C. Imbior Kudma. In my world, these are multiple-meaning words – words like duck, scent/cent, mine, bark, stick, waste/waist and scale. I tossed out a word and the kids gave me as many ways to use the word as they could think of. This was challenging as typically they couldn’t think past the first idea that they had. When I gave the alternative definitions, they were like “oh yeah, I get it”. In later sessions, we will expand this to work on varied reasons for events/emotions and creating alternative solutions to problems.
Then, we made flexible brains. I had a written recipe that they had to read and follow, working together and taking turns.
Pour 2 4oz bottles of white glue into a bowl.
Fill the empty bottles with warm water, put the cap back on and shake.
Pour the warm water into the bowl with the glue.
Add food coloring (you could also add glitter or glow-in-the-dark paint).
In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp. Borax
Stir until the Borax dissolves.
Add the Borax mixture to the glue mixture and stir.
The mixture will start to clump together. Use your hands to continue mixing (a GREAT sensory experience!)
We divided our flexible brain into three pieces so each boy could have a piece to take home in a zip-lock bag.
Oh, and since it was our last session before Halloween, we made spider snacks!
So, for a little sensory fun combined with real-life skills and social teaching, have a “Flexible Brain Day” at your house! Let me know how it goes.