1. The Cardboard Box. Kids love these. They become rockets, shelters, bunkers, homes....Brilliant for the imagination and just being ...well... a kid.
2. The Off Box. Kids surprisingly love this. No screen periods. No TV. No computer. Just reading, conversation, bikes and hanging out. Brilliant for language and inter-personal skills.
3. The Tool Box. The stuff school forgets to mention. How to make money, what love is really all about and why atoms really are so small. Brilliant for curiosity and equipping for Life.
4. The IN Box. In busy, busy interrupt-driven worlds even the youngest need simple organisation skills. Good for managing stress and keeping school happy by delivering on time.
5. The OUT-OF-THE-BOX. A healthy cynicism by encouraging humour, creativity and wit. Good for survival skills in the big, bold world of Life.
6. The CAT-IN-THE-BOX. The old uncertainty, philosophy stuff. Nothing is quite so certain as it might seem. You measured it and therefore thought you knew where it is. But by measuring it you have impacted it and changed its position. Jeez. Good for encouraging living in an increasing world-maybe Age- of uncertainty.
7. The BOX acronym: Be Outstandingly eXcellent. Good for life.
"But what concerns me is that ultimately he will regard audio not as a convenient alternative to reading but as the main event. Should I be worried about this? Or just pleased that he is interested in stories and story-telling? I guess I worry that he won't learn to enjoy the process of reading, the active experience that it is and that he will view it as an entirely passive process."
Step 1: Grab their attention with a wow. You are a film director: start with the car chase, not the credits.
Step 2: Do a fast and furious agenda/rest-rooms/fire alarms. Keep it brief.
Step 3: Now talk about them. Show you understand why they are there, their concerns etc.
Stage 4: Now talk about you and what you can do for your audience. Make it concrete, robust here and now. Of value.
Now, let's think ahead. You only have them in that room for one reason: to agree an action. E.g. to buy from you. To agree the head count increase. To understand Porter's Value Chain concept. So we want to maximise our chances of getting that action agreed; stage 5 is to get questions out of the way, so do that now:
Stage 5: Q&A. Ladies and gentlemen, what questions do you have?
Read to your children. It's increasingly a lost art: reading to our children. Start it in your family. Re-start it if the tradition has been lost. Why?
Children love it.
It develops a child's imagination.
It develops vocabulary.
It's a nice thing to do before falling asleep.
It's a ritual in an otherwise busy day.
It completes the day on a high spot whatever has happened.
It creates discussion points.
Choosing some of the classics (e.g. Rudyard Kipling) not only 'rounds' an education but establishes fundamental ways of looking at the world.
It broadens the mind by reading about other jobs/people/parts of the world. Yep, read to your children.
Can there be anything more powerful, more amazing than human imagination? It's easy for it to get dulled, though. Too much screen time. Not enough time to reflect. Lack of alternative viewpoints.
Help your kids by:
1. Reading to them from the earliest age to encourage a love of books. Have books around the place. Show that you read. Get them using the library. Consider an exclusive book purchase allowance.
2. Manage screen (TV/DVD/computer) time carefully when they are very young.
3. Avoid micro-scheduling their time. 'Being bored' is OK.
4. Introduce to art, music, museums, carpentry, cooking...whatever. Be relaxed about negative comments. Just introduce the topic and see where it goes...Get some physical stuff in there, too.
5. Be supportive of their ideas.
TTD (Things To Do) to develop your child's imagination
From the earliest age:
1. Read to them, including the classics such as Rudyard Kipling's The Just So stories.
2. Ensure there are always plenty of drawing materials around.
3. Talk to them intelligently.
4. Catch them doing things right: praise them.
5. Limit screen (TV/video/computer) time especially at the earliest ages.
6. Read (yourself) Neil Postman's The Disappearance of Childhood.
7. Don't be influenced by the rationalisation of other parents e.g. "it's OK for them to watch that cert 18 film" when clearly it's not.
8. Be interested in them. Be interesting.