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The Dancing, Singing Easel

by by Emily Plank
January/February 2013
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-dancing-singing-easel/5020988/

How flexible are you? I'm not talking about physical flexibility. I used to get pretty high scores in my physical education classes in middle and high school for my sit-and-reach ability, but it's been a while since I've been able to comfortably touch my forehead to my knees. What I'm talking about here is cognitive flexibility: the ability to change direction to accommodate a new friend into a play situation or the capacity to think creatively to solve a problem. It's the skill that kicks in when you plan to have one thing for dinner only to discover you are missing a key ingredient. Or when you travel to a new country and, without knowing the language, are able to navigate the subway system because you have ridden on a subway in your hometown. Grouped with persistence and resilience, cognitive flexibility gives you the makings of a 'bounce back' kind of attitude. You can keep trying, even when things get tough. Talk about a life-long learning skill!

Ellen Galinsky, in her book Mind in the Making: The Seven Life Skills that Every Child Needs (2010), talks about the critical skills that children should be practicing during the early years. Not surprisingly, rote ...

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