Sunday, September 18, 2011
Detective Kid - Links for your own Little Sherlock
We listened to this audio story at The Friend, from January 2010. It's about a young detective who asks his mother to borrow a small mirror for his detective kit (he already has the hat, the flashlight, and the magnifying glass to look for clues, but he needs a mirror to see around corners). It slips out of his pocket and he kneels on it, accidentally breaking it. The story is about honesty and eventually he tells his mom the truth about how the mirror broke.
This story got Gilgamesh really excited about playing detective. We happen to have a magnifying glass, small children's flashlight, and cheap-o mirror for him to use. But today I realized I have no idea how to guide him in playing detective. And he needs a little guidance. He wants to play, but has no idea how to begin.
We're doing two things about this:
1. Looking up detective stories for children.
2. Consulting the internet for home detective games:
TLC Detective Games for Kids - includes instructions for an invisible ink secret message game, periscope game, and suggests using literature to "solve" classic mysteries with a notebook, basically taking notes during a mystery.
Wiki How: How to Be a Good Detective - actually just some fun ideas for kids to get into the spirit, including wearing dark clothes and finding a fort, rallying their friends, etc.
Blue's Clues Ghost Hunt - is an online game for 4-6-year-olds. Not exactly what I had in mind, but might be fun.
PBS History Detectives Kids - a website with links to more free online games for kids, including How Old is This House and I-Spy with Magnifying Glass. And a printable detective kit.
Party Games - an exhaustive list of party games with instructions on how to play with friends! Some of these have a detective flair to them, like I-Spy and Mafia.
We'll probably end up doing treasure hunts until he's a little older. Many of the resources I found involve complicated logic tests.
We did buy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (a kid's version) illustrated by Lucy Corvino. From reading this aloud together, he'll see the amazing deductions Holmes reaches that wow Watson all the time. :)
A note on reading aloud with a four-year-old and two-year-old: Just like I mentioned in an earlier post, children will always surprise you with what they learn when you think they aren't listening. You never know when they'll grasp onto something you're teaching. That's why repetition is so important. In reading aloud, I've already found that my wanderlusting preschooler rushes back to the couch to see the book when he hears an interesting visual described. He wants to see the picture, but what he's learning is that he can already see the picture of what I'm describing in his own mind. He's building his imagination each time I read aloud, without me having to do anything extra.
As he gets better at listening and forming these mental images, I'll make it more of a habit to ask him to narrate back to me what happened in the story, as suggested in The Well-trained Mind, the perfect segue into classic book reports. For now, I'm happy to see him running over to see if there's a picture to check against his own mental image.
Good luck with your own little detective adventures!