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How to Jumpstart Your Child's Mind with Brainstorming (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 8, 2011

Expanding

If your child’s too young to write, you can take note of what he says; otherwise have him write down all his ideas on a piece of paper. He might like to draw random circles on the page and write his ideas inside the circles, or he might prefer making a list, or a series of categorized lists. “Brainstorming works best when a whole slew of ideas are recorded, without much editing. The temptation will be to either off-handedly discard ones that seem useless or to stop too soon. Fill a whole page with ideas before sifting through to find that one concept that grabs one's attention. The bigger the stream of ideas, the greater the chance of finding that shining nugget,” Van Patter says.

Waiting

After your child has brain-dumped everything he can possibly think of, have him take a short break. This allows him to see the results with a fresh point of view, and lets the subconscious mind start making connections and sorting through the ideas. When he returns, the last step will often come very easily.

Sifting

Now’s the time to sort through the page and pick the best idea. If the brainstorm is for an essay or school project, have your child discard the weakest ideas, and divide the rest into topics and subtopics. If he drew circles, he can connect them up with lines and color them to group related ideas. With lists, he can draw boxes or lines to join certain concepts together, or use different colored highlighters to code them.

Once your child begins stretching and flexing his mind through brainstorming, you’ll find him constantly coming up with new and more creative ideas, and making better decisions as a result!

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