When our kids are little, we spend most of our time walking over them and/or their toys that are scattered all over the floor. I don’t know about you, but that is one of my biggest pet peeves – having to walk over things in the floor.
Lately, Mister Bull has a bad habit of walking over things. Instead of stopping to pick them up and put them away properly, he’d rather just walk over them. Sometimes he’s not really paying attention and does it subconsciously, but other times he deliberately walks over it because he’s too lazy to pick it up.
Yes, I said my child was lazy! Aren’t they just plain lazy sometimes? This got me thinking…”How can I teach him to be more observant?” Truth be told, he comes by it honestly. First of all, most guys are oblivious to things that drive us Mom’s nuts. And second, the Hubster does the same thing! Yes, I just told on my husband too. Although, I must say that in our 9+ years of marriage he has definitely improved!! On a side note – Mom’s (and Dad’s) do NOT go behind your children and turn things off or pick things up for them. Make them do it!! Trust me, it becomes a habit and it is very difficult to re-train them as adults!
Okay, now that I’ve stepped off my small soap box, let’s talk about how we can teach our kids to be more observant. You can lecture them and/or play some games that teach observation.
So, here’s what I’ve done to help our kids learn to be more observant. First, we start with a lecture. We talk about what it means to be observant and ways we can be more observant in our own lives.
Then, we play some games to reinforce what we’ve talked about. Here are a couple of our favorites:
1. Blindfold Obstacles – First, blindfold your child and have them go through the house and some obstacles you’ve set up. Intentionally put some smaller objects on the floor for them to step on and/or trip over. Then, have them go through the course un-blindfolded, but they can’t step on or over things. They must pick them up in order to go on.
2. “ISPY!” – we love to play this in the car, but works in the house too! Specifically pick things that are more difficult for them to see based on their age. You can also “spy” toys that need to be picked up and when they guess correctly they have to pick it up and put it away where it belongs.
3. Quick Pick-up – this is really more of a game for Mom, but it works! Set a timer and have them pick up as many toys as they can in 5 minutes. Make it a game by “shooting” balls into their bin or tossing toys to each other like an assembly line to put them in the correct bins. If you make it fun, they will love the Quick Pick-up!!
4. Observe before you leave the house – I often leave lights on intentionally when preparing to leave the house. Then, I have Mister Bull do a “walk-thru” before we leave and correct anything that is wrong. It has really helped him remember to turn his bedroom light off when he leaves his room.
5. Observation books and papers – you can also incorporate some observation books and activity papers into their schooling (if you homeschool) quite easily. “Where’s Waldo?” and “ISPY!” books are big hits with the kids. You can also do Hidden picture puzzles to help increase their ability to see things.
I have implemented these over the past few months and have slowly seen an improvement with Mister Bull. I’m working really hard to teach Mister Mouse and Miss Priss now that they are young so they will hopefully continue being observant as they get older. I think training has a lot to do with it, but when you realize your 7 year old is less than observant you have to start somewhere. I hope these tips will help you and spark some even more creative ideas!!
What tips or tricks do you have for teaching your kids how to be observant?
Thanks for stopping by today! Happy Monday!!!