The “Tween” Years
The tween years are a fun time for children to engage in creative learning. They are fascinated by projects and enjoy spending time creating. They have a wonderful sense of humor and their fantasy life has evolved, probably sparked by books like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series (all hail Olympians!) and Veronica Roth's Divergent Series (where choices become true). Children at this age are often voracious readers and you should do all you can to encourage them in this activity. Children who read every day are also good learners at school and make excellent academic progress.
Tween toys can be fun and often follow their fantasy interest. For boys (especially), Minecraft has probably captured their imagination. If so, consider a Lego construction kit. These are small LEGO's that require thoughtful engagement in order to piece together the projects. Working with these construction blocks can help your child work through functional geometry and pattern making. These are not just important mathematical concepts, they building a foundation for three dimensional thinking. That's an essential concept in physics!
If you have a child that is struggling in math, consider using these kits to help them overcome some of their basic fears. There are plenty of educational plans on line that incorporate the use of LEGO's in order to help students. You might also want to consider letting your child join a LEGO league. These teams are inspirational. Children team up to build a robot that will solve a 'world problem'. Kids who participate in these leagues learn about engineering, science, mathematics and even language skills. For more information, check out this link: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/.
Remember that the most important skill that you can develop in your child is a love of learning. Helping them to focus on a creative project develops the attentional skills that they will rely on throughout their academic career. If your child is interested in crafts, there are many kits that will help teach your child these skills Many girls at this age are interested in jewelry making skills and learning how to make friendship bracelets. If you have a child interested in fashion, find ways to make this an adventure. Perhaps, they would like to know how to sew or how to make perfume. Watch your child and use every opportunity you can to help them find and explore what they love.
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