Bringing some empathy into breakfast prep
4-8 year olds
When you have visitors, like grandparents, it's time to impress them with your great egg-making -- by using the design thinking process to make them perfect just for their tastes.
Let's use breakfast as a chance to have your children experiment, trying new things and being in tune with our "users"!
Give your child a chance to ask questions of their grandparents to understand what kind of eggs they like.
Encourage them to take notes a piece of paper to remember while making eggs.The big point: see breakfast from the grandparents' point of view -- not their own! Tell your kid, the goal is to see things from the other person's perspective.
Before cracking an egg -- first do some creative thinking and planning.Let's brainstorm: what are all the ways we could make eggs that would fit with what the grandparents said during their interview? Should there be cheese, salt, pepper, tabasco, mushrooms or more? And shoudl they be runny, fried, boiled, or otherwise. You can do it in a conversation, or you can even draw. Encourage your child to take the lead: what are all the different ways we could prepare these eggs? And after a minute or two: it's time to choose the most promising way and start on the eggs.
Before you start cooking, get clear on the plan. Have your child explain out loud how they will make the eggs to make their grandparents happy. As you get started (or perhaps, as the parent does the cooking -- depending on the age of the child), talk through what's happening.
Ask your child whether they are following their own instructions or not.
For example, did they add salt even though the grandparents don't like salty eggs?
When your child finishes making the eggs, and as everyone starts eating them -- let the grandparents ask your child about their brainstorming experience. Was it easy? Was it hard?
Also, challenge them to think through what they could do to improve the next breakfast. Was it easier for your child to make eggs for their grandparent, or for themselves? Try to emphasize to them that they really need to understand what grandparents like or dislike.
Next week, let them try making eggs again to see if they can do it better, based on the feedback. You can even refer back to the notes you made -- to make sure you remember the lessons your learned.
PhD in Education
Originally from Turkey, then Pittsburgh, now California
I got my PhD in educating kids how to code, and how to think computationally so they can thrive in STEM. I have been researching how Offline Activities -- where kids aren't in front of a screen, but are playing in the real world -- can help kids get core concepts of coding.
This egg activity teaches your child empathy, for other people's points of view on breakfast. Also, as they learn to make eggs, they are prototyping. They will taste the egg and figure out how to improve it: testing, iterating, and becoming a design thinker!