When my children were little my husband and I had a lot of fun coming up with creative projects to help our children understand the values, concepts, and theories we were trying to teach them. Two of the hardest for them to really grasp was the idea of the intangible and direction. We came up with some really fun ideas that had our children saying “ooh” and “ahh.” My husband and I had as much fun as we did, and even implemented the same ideas in some classes at church.
Of course, the intangible is a “thing” that exists that we cannot touch or directly see. Things like love, hate, joy, peace. I could tell my children what these things felt like in their emotions, but because they could not see them or touch them they had trouble grasping the concept. This is what we did to help them understand.
I took a balloon and presented it to them. I asked them what was in the deflated balloon. They answered, “nothing,” which was correct. I then stretched the balloon out and blew into it, filling it half way up. I clasped the balloon making sure not to allow any air out of it and asked my children, “what is in it now?” They yelled in unison, “air!” Well, of course, that’s what was in it. “How do you know it’s filled with air?” I asked.
“You can’t see it.” They sat and thought for a little while and retorted, “because the balloon moved. Something had to move it.” Right. I then explained to them that we can understand now that things like love and joy exist because we see and feel evidence of it even though we can’t see it with our eyes. I explained the word intangible and gave them a short definition of it. I then blew up the balloon to full capacity, tied it off, and handed it to them. I filled another balloon and gave that to them as well so they both had one, and offered them markers to decorate their “intangible balloons” with. They got it, and because they had fun with the project, they remembered it, Website: https://www.getutor.com.hk/.
The other problem we ran into was direction. My children understood that North and West went in different directions, but how to utilize it they were having trouble with. To help them remember and get a full grasp of it, my husband and I designed a treasure hunt for them. On a piece of construction paper (typing paper or notebook paper will work just as well) we drew a rough map of our yard. We added the house and significant objects that would help them understand that it was our yard.
We added a compass (North, South, East, and West) pointing the directions of where things were in real life. We then hid trinkets in a few choice locations (locations marked on the map with images representing that object). We then marked the map with footsteps representing where they should go to find the treasure adding a description on the back of the map to help if they got stumped. The descriptions were something like “directly south from the large pecan tree under a bush”. The description, of course, told the location of the treasure. We added a key to the map representing footsteps, trees, bushes, what have you.
I bought the treasures at the dollar store and paid about 10 dollars in total. The children were delighted to get new presents and at the end of the “game” they understood direction and had basic map reading skills.