How are milk and water alike?
What is common between a glass window and a bottle of ink?
How would you connect a carpenter and a cook?
And WHY connect?
Because looking for connections between things, concepts and categories taps into what are known as our higher order thinking capacities. Each time we encourage children to link ideas with one another, we are facilitating a deeper level of processing and engagement with those ideas. Simply put, the ideas or concepts are likely to be understood better, remembered for longer, and generalised to broader areas of their lives.
Chalk and Chuckles has created a wonderful game to teach kids to connect the dots. Based on the format of a visual scrabble, ‘Why Connect’ contains 90 picture tiles containing familiar objects (milk, honey, wood), occupations (carpenter, cook) and concepts (fire, sand) that two to four players can take turns connecting with each other. The game contains two levels of complexity (red and blue marked tiles) for use with younger as well as older kids, and also offers higher levels of challenge by allowing you to place a single tile in the middle of three others and make a plausible connection with all three!
What’s more, it also encourages reasoning and communication skills as you have to not only state the connection aloud but also get other players to agree with the logic of your connection. The best part about this highly addictive game is that it is not bound by a board and can be played on any flat surface. So have fun connecting these tiles on your family dining table, or take it along with you on a picnic to the park!