Saturday, June 27, 2009

New World Kids Review

I have to admit....I was a little hesitant when I first heard the title of this book. I was thinking "new world order" and other "new age" types of things.  But I was pleasantly surprised.  The idea of a "new world" refers to the way our world is changing.  Text messaging, GPS, and satellite phones were not around when I was growing up.  Who knows what kind of technology will exist when my kids grow up?  We need to prepare them to think differently.  Our schools continue to teach things the way they always have. But we need to teach them to think creatively.
As a former teacher (elementary) and current developmental specialist (birth to 3) I was impressed with the ideas presented.  After explaining the creativity map, the authors introduce the Sensory Alphabet.  Then each element of the Sensory Alphabet (color, line, shape, sound, texture, light, movement, space, and rhythm) is explained throughly.  My favorite part was at the end of each element introduction was a list of "Investigations to do on your own" (for the parent) and a list of "Investigations to do with your child".  This is followed by quotes on the theme.
I found some great ideas of things to try with my kids.  After reading the first few chapters, I started saying "yes" to my kids more often.  One night, we painted with pudding.  Chocolate and vanilla (colored with various sprinkles) made great finger paints!  (See pictures below).
I would highly recommend this book (or the companion one for teachers) to any parent who wants to help her child succeed in this ever changing world.

From the website:

Built on decades of applied research, "New World Kids: The Parents' Guide to Creative Thinking" (Foundry Media, 2009, 978-0-615-19060-0, $14.95), is a handbook for developing young minds to learn and grow in a future requiring visual literacy and innovative skills. Marcus and Monday demystify the often misunderstood territory of creativity, offering parents everyday activities to help kids discover their individual creative abilities.

Just as the traditional alphabet is used to teach reading and writing, the Sensory Alphabet-line, color, texture, movements, sounds, rhythm, space, light and shape-is the foundation of creative literacy and the basis of our sensory connection to the world. The Sensory Alphabet enhances a child's ability to understand, symbolize and communicate ideas, which are all crucial skills in our digital media world of pictures, icons, sound and video.

New World Kids covers topics such as:
" The Sensory Alphabet: Nine essential elements for creative literacy
" How to mentor children through the creative process
" How to raise innovative kids for the 21st century
" How to help kids find their creativity, passion at an early age
" How to design your home as a space for ideas
" Incorporating media and play into the learning process

Marcus and Monday were co-founders of the Learning About Learning Educational Foundation, a Texas-based institution that conducted applied research in creativity, individuality, media and play. Visit for more information.

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