Gather the kids into a group. One at a time, read the words below and have children shout out whatever other words come to mind when they think of this word. Write their answers on a dry erase board or a large piece of paper. We recommend doing this activity over several days, picking 4 or 5 words each day to discuss. You might have to give an example of a word association to help get them started, and be sure to tell them there are no right or wrong answers.
Father Snake Spring Winter Football
Mother Broccoli Summer Fall Doughnut
Grandma/grandpa Ice cream Puppy Forest
This is a perception exercise designed to teach kids about all the different ways there are of looking at things, and how different people can have wildly different ways of thinking, even about the same particular item. If kids give an unusual answer (Grandma and grandpa = tomatoes) encourage them to elaborate (my grandma grows tomatoes and I always eat them when I’m over there).
Once you’ve done several words, look back over the list and note the variation. Then have a talk with the kids about . . .
- Whether we see something as good or bad, happy or sad, often has a lot more to do with how we look at something than it does the thing or experience itself.
- That there are many different ways there are of looking at things, and how most of the time there is no right or wrong way to think about things.
- Why this also means that OUR OWN ideas can change as we gain different experiences or discover new ways of looking at things, and why it’s therefore important to keep our mind open to new experiences and new ways of looking at life.