When I decided to try 52 new experiences in 2011, I did not intend to inspire others to do the same. But, I did encourage other people to try new things, and learning about their adventures was extremely gratifying. I hope that Luke and Leah’s new experiences will inspire parents to try something new with their children.
There are so many positive effects of trying a new experience. Here are just a few:
1. Builds Confidence When a child completes a task he never knew he could do, he feels more confident. After making just one project with Lowe’s Build and Grow, Luke felt like he was an expert carpenter. When we arrived at Lowe’s for our second Build and Grow project, he held the hammer properly and even remembered how to guide the nails with his fingers.
2. Conquer a Fear In February, one of our new experiences was touching a tarantula. I really did not want to touch that thing. It took every ounce of my being not to pull my hand away. When I touched it, I realized my fear was unnecessary. I still don’t like spiders, but now I know that tarantulas are actually kind of fuzzy and soft to the touch. If they weren’t so ugly, they might even make good pets.
3. Widen Your Comfort Zone People often talk about “getting out of their comfort zone”, but that phrase implies discomfort. I prefer to use the term “widening” one’s comfort zone, especially when it comes to doing something new with a child. If he tries something that is totally new to him and likes it, he just made his comfort zone a little bigger. Once he becomes older, his comfort zone will be a wide open place. Hopefully, that will make trying new experiences and being open to new ideas easier for him.
4. Realize a New Interest Leah never asked to go ice skating before we tried it earlier this year. She had never been exposed to it and had no idea what she was missing. She now counts ice skating as one of her favorite things we’ve tried this year. She would love to learn how to spin and skate backwards. We will be returning to the rink soon!
5. Expand Background Knowledge As a former teacher and reading specialist, I know that the more a child can relate to what he is learning in school, the better he will understand the material. For example, a child who has played with Snap Circuits will have an easier time comprehending more complex ideas in an electricity unit than a child who has never even seen a circuit before. As a child completes new experiences, she adds to the wealth of knowledge already stored in her brain. She can draw upon that background knowledge in school and life (and trivia games!).
So, get out there and try something new with your child today!
Leave a comment and let us know what new experience you’d like to do with your child.