Walking and Wondering…


Yesterday walking home from a park with two scooter-riding kids, age 7 and 4, I used a Plus It! idea.

Scooter-riding kids

At a street corner, I said, “Let’s guess how many cement squares there are in the sidewalk between the beginning and end of this next block.”

I started the guessing and said 25 cement squares. Rose, age 7 and a first grader, said 31. Calvin, age 4, said 100.  We started to count loudly.

In just a few squares, Rose declared, “I’m no good at estimating,” and changed her guess to 21, which was closer to what mine was.

“Don’t say that,” I said, impressed that she knew the word for the activity but a bit alarmed at her self-doubt.

Immediately she explained that in school she had guessed there were 60 somethings when the correct answer had been 100. And she repeated her conclusion that she wasn’t good at estimating, though she was clearly enjoying this activity.

I thought, Gee, how quickly children draw conclusions about what they can or can’t do well. My admonition to her not to say ‘I’m no good at…’ to herself was ignored.

I wondered what I could do or say that would open up the possibility that she could reconsider her conclusion. Hmm….

For it turned out that there were 49 cement squares in that block. Rose would have won the ‘contest’ if she’d stayed with her first answer.

Categories : Outdoor Activities

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