One of the best gifts you can bestow on your children (grand-children) is a vivid imagination. It is so important to counteract the unproductivity of our left-brainy approach (in most schools at least).

Do this:

Get a box with pictures (simple things like animals, or flowers etc.)

Add showmanship and make it special for the child. A bit of chocolate at the end may help as well.

Then: put 5 pictures in a row, and then another 5 pictures below, all turned down.

Turn over the first two pictures and start:

E.g. the two pictures are a fox and a sun-flower.

Say: what is the fox doing to the sun-flower?

Keep going: what is the sun-flower saying/doing back?

Keep it going about 3-5 times back and forth.

And soon enough you will intuitively feel when the connection is ‘good enough’. This is part of YOUR learning process as well.

Then turn the pictures down, and do the same with the second pair of pictures.

Having worked through all the five pairs, test. Turn over only one picture and ask: what is the other one?

It is so rewarding to see the smile and grin on the child’s face.

Should one of the items not come back, see below how to give it more oomph. Learning the skill of remembering is the same for you AND the child.

If you want, you could make it very special for the child and add showmanship.

You could say: Shall we show off with mom/dad? Remember: you have done the training and the child KNOWS the connection. Make sure that your partner gives a lot of praise.

Last remark:

Start with 5 pairs and work up to 10. 10 is plenty to show off. Also, you will notice that it becomes easier and easier for the child (Hint for you: practice, practice, practice), and the easier it becomes the less exciting and unusual it is. Although this is so important for the phantasy and general development for the child, either you leave it at this exercise (and I promise you that the child will develop it all by itself the the next levels; they WILL do very well in school because it becomes second nature to them) or you move on yourself to the next step(s).

The choice is yours.